Is AER a best in the world regulator? It’s “tatters upon tatters.”
“The AER is indeed hiding something.”
“Of course you can comply with nothing.”
Too funny but horrifying. AER/ERCB/EUB is a bully, but not towards law-violating polluting oil gas frac coal and bitumen companies. The regulator is too cowardly and corrupt to regulate the rich powerful polluters and the many industrial scam artists taking Alberta for a multi-billion dollar ride, leaving the citizenry with devastation and a province-wide toxic hellscape to clean up. Instead, AER attacks and “regulates” (bullies, shames and usually successfully silences) the harmed and cruelly violates our Charter rights when failing to silence us.
AER lies, a lot (they won at the supreme court of Canada in my case against them and still lied about it – before, during and after), and has been hiding endless illegal shit by industry for decades and gleefully engages in fraud to cover-up corporate crimes while violating the rights of Albertans in the process.
My FOIP results, lawsuit and speaking events showed the true nature of the EUB/ERCB/AER beast, as did Andrew Nikiforuk’s books Saboteurs and Slick Water and books by others.
Alberta courts are like AER, they piss on the rule of law to protect rich polluters while cowardly enabling crimes that harm many, and bully and shame and lie about the harmed nastily, if not more so, than AER does.
In my case, Alberta courts treated me and my case (and thus the public interest) like shit, and ruled that AER is legally immune (even for gross negligence and acts in bad faith), owes Albertans no duty of care, and is above Canada’s top law, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that the Fucker Truckers and TBA/UCP are squawking about so loudly.
It’s foolish to expect justice from retired/working Alberta judges and it’s even more foolish to expect regulation from AER.
Markham Hislop@politicalham Sept 28, 2023:
AER deficiencies in @DeloitteCanada report are indictment of regulator
Much worse for @AER_news than today’s news stories suggest.
Column coming Friday a.m., so here’s @molszyns interview as a teaser.
AER deficiencies in Deloitte report are indictment of regulator 14.14 Min. by Energi Media, Sept 28, 2023
Markham interviews Professor Martin Olszynski, University of Calgary, specialist in environmental law, about consulting firm Deloitte’s “investigation” the 2022 leak and 2023 spill at Imperial Oil’s Kearl oil sands plant that was commissioned by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Alberta needs one of these human trapping trolls built on the threshold of AER Calgary Headquarters to trap our negligent “regulators” enabling the corporate criminal shit destroying our health, water, air, land, communities, Alberta (and helping destroy earth’s livability):
Alberta and our drinking water would be much further ahead had I not wasted the $500,000.00 on legal fees (my lawyers betrayed me, the public interest, the rule of law, and my lawsuit), the mandatory Ottawa agent law firm, court costs (the judges also betrayed me, the public interest, the rule of law, Canada’s charter, and my lawsuit), other costs, and instead hired Thomas Dambo to install a team of his trolls: one in front of AER in downtown Calgary, one in front of the Alberta Premier’s (currently Danielle Smith) Office of Lies & Propaganda, one in front of UCP’s Pollution Headquarters, and some here and there in the tarsands and frac fields (notably Encana’s at Rosebud and Fox Creek).
Refer also to a few examples of AER’s crimes:
2021: New book by Dr. Kevin Timoney: Hidden Scourge: Exposing the Truth about Fossil Fuel Industry Spills, Six-year investigation into the impacts in western North America. “The science is clear: the production and use of fossil fuels has caused global-scale ecological and atmospheric damage that presently endangers life on the planet.”
2021: Study: Birth defects **significantly** more common in areas of strip mining/open pit/mountaintop coal mining; Health effects of related air and water contamination appear cumulative. Never forget: Courts ruled in Ernst vs AER that it is legally immune, owes no duty of care and is above Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. AER has no public health mandate and the Alberta gov’t removed its public interest mandate after the Ernst lawsuit went public. There is no authority to protect Albertans, our health, our rights and drinking water, and the feds have gone AWOL.
2021: Give your brain a shake Mr. Wallace! AER owes No Duty of Care to Albertans harmed by its actions or inactions (failure to regulate is AER’s fav pastime), has no public interest or public health mandate, abuses and violates the rights of harmed citizens, and is led by questionable old white dudes.
2020: AER’s new “Dickhead” Laurie Pushor off to Kenney-wanna-be-Trump races: “No Duty of Care” AER abuses Covid-19 crisis to deregulate oilpatch and foothills coal mining. (Stephen Cousin’s sketch may offend some, but it’s too perfect not to add to this vulgar news.)
2020: AER enables Vesta’s rape of Red Deer River for frac’ing, allows withdrawal of “half a cubic metre of water per second” assaulting residents with 80 decibels “deafening noise” day & night, diesel & light pollution, forcing pilot to sleep in hotel instead of his own home. Appears Vesta is boiling the river for access; thanks to AER, when you catch fish in Alberta now, it’s pre-cooked.
2020: How the hell do Albertans get any regulation with dirty shit like this running the regulator?! AER skulduggery escalates: Dave Goldie, Encana & Cenovus VP is new Chair (first was Encana & Cenovus VP Gerry Protti); Martin Foy, Encana crime-enabler, appointed Exec VP (remember AER exec VP, ex-Encana lying manager Mark Taylor?); Propagandizing Synergy Queen, Tracey McCrimmon & Encana crime-enabler Bev Yee appointed to the Board; Anti-science climate change denier, Steve Harper’s best buddy/compaign manager, Kenney’s Kamikazi campaign manager, John Weissenberger, made VP Technical Science & External Innovation Branch.
2019: Frac Hit at Fox Creek? Wanna bet industry’s pet lamb, AER, will issue no fine? 460,000 litres fluids & contaminated water spews forth from abandoned Sprocket Energy Corp sour gas well 6 km SW of Fox Creek, Nothing reported in the media!
2019: Premier Jason Kenney gives oil & gas industry $30 million gift from taxpayers to attack concerned citizens courageous enough to speak out, Gives not one penny to fix Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers frac’d illegally by Encana, covered-up by “No Duty of Care” AER
2018: Bow Island, Alberta: “Water” well beside Chantel Timmons’ home leaking white foam & dangerous levels natural gas. Is it an abandoned shallow gas well or historic stratigraphic test well? Charter violating, No Public Interest or Public Health mandate, “No Duty of Care” AER shirking its duties, yet again
2017: AER gets failing grade for efforts to acquire, report accurate scientific data! Alberta “guessing” when it comes to spill recovery. “AER failure to protect the environment.” AER “off the scale in terms of believability….” Researcher Dr. Kevin Timoney sums up his forensic investigation: “Persistent, pervasive danger to society and ecosystems.”
2017: Whimps Extraordinaire! Ex-Encana VP (Gerard Protti) led AER taps Encana with $7,500 administrative penalty for major sour gas blowout at Fox Creek Alberta, Nothing for injecting 18 million litres of frac fluid into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers.
2017: More Propaganda CAPP style? AER, Charter Violating, No Duty of Care, Legally Immune, Abuser of Power, Pollution & Law Violator Enabler, “warns” industry it “could” go after directors, executives to clean up the current $300 Billion in oilfield liabilities. Really? With Ex-Encana Exec/Ex-Cenovus Exec/Ex-CAPP Exec Gerard Protti as AER Chair?
2017: Damaging the Charter: Ernst vs Alberta Energy Regulator by Lorne Sossin, Dean Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Comment: “It causes one to question how much both the plurality and the dissent were driven by the desired end-state of the judgment, rather than consistency in applying principles of public law.”
2017: Happy Alberta-Oil-Patch-Get-Away-with-Murder New Year? After 10 years to investigate and release report, CNRL fined $10,000 – maximum allowed – following regulation violations that killed 2 workers, injured 5 others, 13 in total trapped by devastating tank collapse. All 29 charges against CNRL dropped. Alberta’s “No Duty of Care” energy “regulation” wins & kills, again.
2017: Canada: Judge doesn’t wait for trial, Rules doctor caused infections, issues summary judgement – without full hearing. Compare to Ernst lawsuit being dragged out year after year after year, merely on preliminary motions, with Alberta courts ruling AER is legally immune, even for acts in gross negligence & bad faith, owes harmed Albertans “no duty of care.”
2016: AER: Toothless, Legally Immune (even for acts in bad faith and gross negligence), Charter Violating, Best in the World Wonder. Why hasn’t AER shut rogue Lexin Resources Ltd. down? Why leave Albertans in danger of being killed or poisoned? “The regulator said in an order released Tuesday that if Lexin and its related company, LR Processing, fail to provide sufficient oversight, sour gas could be released into the environment with potentially dangerous effects.”
2016: Big Oil’s NDP-Tory Dream Team “Free Market” Plan: Give $billions in loan (interest free?) from Canadian taxpayers to negligent, law violating companies to clean up $billions in messes intentionally left behind (intentionally ignored by the “No Duty of Care” AER) after taking $billions in profits, while causing $billions in pollution more; A loan that’ll (intentionally) never be paid back
2016: The Oil & Gas Industry Way: Lie (a lot); Pollute you and your loved ones, communities, livestock, air, land, food and water; Arrogantly & smirkingly violate laws, regulations and promises knowing the legally immune, “No Duty of Care” AER violates laws and citizen rights to protect polluters; Rip you off while dumping their legal liabilities on you after taking $billions in profits
2016: Devolution of a Species. Alberta Venture Special Report: Towns in Alberta’s industrial heartland ran out of water last summer. Is fracking to blame? Is “No Duty of Care” legally immune AER’s one-size-fits-all, world-record quaking frac frenzy drying up Fox Creek’s drinking water supply?
2016: Set-up extraordinaire to burden Canadians with cleaning up billion-dollar profit-taking oilfield’s dirty underwear? Alberta landowners fight for enforcement by “No Duty of Care,” legally immune (even for Charter violations, gross negligence, acts in bad faith) regulator. Law violations ignored by AER, as usual.
… This is just the tip of the iceberg though, the lobbying and corporate pressures that are visible above the surface. What lies beneath?
At the community level in Alberta, we have this slimy system of lobbying, referred to as “synergy”. Synergy Alberta is partnered with, and partially fiscally supported by CAPP and the AER. In the past, the Government of Alberta also contributed, but recently have pulled funding. The rest of money for operations of these synergy groups, comes from invoicing industry.
Here is a list of Synergy Alberta groups:
Alberta Energy Corridor, BalCAP, Battle Lake Synergy, Battle Action Committee, Regional air-sheds such as PAMZ and the Peace, Calumet Synergy, CMAG, Clearwater synergy, Cochrane Pipeline Operators Assc, Crossfield District Synergy, FAAMA, Fox Creek Synergy, Genessee Synergy, LICA, Life in the Heartland, FAO, PAG, Peace Regional Synergy, Pembina Synergy, Rimbey Synergy, SPOG, VAPPA, WASP, Waterton Advisory, West Central Stakeholders, Wetaskiwin Synergy and Yellowhead Synergy.
I have participated in many meetings and interactions with SPOG and CMAG and they way they operate is disturbing, to say the least.
For instance, with CMAG, industry and AER reps, community members, perhaps a municipal councillor will generally meet at the local Smitty’s for breakfast, hosted by an “impartial facilitator” (who happens to be paid by industry and gets her breakfast paid for nearly every time by TransCanada, hardly impartial). Since witnessing several misleading and fabricated statements regarding local operations, such as Julia Fulford with the AER, stating that the well sites by our home have “no emissions”, I took to recording the meetings. Present after all, are elected officials and government employees. It outraged the group, and they kicked me out, while passing a Terms of Reference that states that no recording, visual or audio, can be taken at meetings and that meeting minutes can not be used in legal proceedings. All this information is accessible on the CMAG website in the TOR and meeting minutes.
The evolution of Synergy groups, generally follows the same path. It begins with local community concerns regarding industry activity or a serious incident. The Pembina Institute would be the most famous example of this, borne of the Lodgepole Pine sour gas blowout. CMAG came about because of CBM activity. The origins of these groups are respectable enough, however, the progression from community led, to industry controlled and colluded, is what is so disgraceful, and it happens every time.
Just look at what Pembina has become, a national eNGO, hosting galas in Toronto, with industry money. They don’t assist impacted residents at all, neither does any synergy group. In reality, this system operates more on the basis of discrediting harmed landowners and endorsing industry regardless of impacts. Industry moves in on these groups and uses money and power to change the dynamic and messaging, until they are nothing more than a subset of stakeholder relations departments pushing corporate interests. Controlled opposition at it’s finest. Community level lobbying.
Aside from industry infiltrating communities via synergy and four stacks with a side of sausage, industry also funds the air-shed groups in Alberta.
When we had a PAMZ air quality trailer on our land, the company shut in all their operations near our home, for the duration of testing. PAMZ, the AER and the company, then used this manipulated data set, that had no resemblance to air quality during full production, as a means to discredit our concerns over sour gas emissions. When industry pays for the operations of air-sheds doing community testing, they have ways to ensure they are not implicated in any non-compliances. Air quality lobbying.
More industry money is directed at influencing education. Major oil and gas operators are currently partners in the Alberta K-12 curriculum. They also sponsor industry propaganda at the Telus Science Centre, Glenbow Museum and promotion at Heritage Park. Industry funds numerous organizations that come to schools with corporate messaging guised as environmental initiatives, delivered by the likes of Earth Rangers and Inside Education.
Of course, industry has huge monetary influence in our post secondary institutions. The U of C is infamous for their oil and gas based agenda, led by the Haskayne School of Business and the School of Public Policy. Academic lobbying.
In fact, in Alberta, you will be hard pressed to find any eNGO that does not have industry money behind them. The Alberta Ecotrust is a prime example. Environmental lobbying.
Then you have your “charities” which are pro-industry, the most renowned is the Fraser Institute. Charitable lobbying.
Then you have industry in the communities, donating money to local schools, bonspiels, beer gardens and the other events and projects, yet, implementing proper emission reductions for priority pollutants, inspecting and maintaining pipelines and facilities or implementing and installing proper air and water quality monitoring to protect the public, is all too costly and lobbied against. Buy-off lobbying.
Finally, you have all the money industry spends on private meetings, the ones not on anyone’s books. Like how TransCanada met privately with members of AAMDC, which resulted in their resolution to endorse Energy East. Those AAMDC members had no knowledge of the tolls ($4.6 billion, at minimum) to Albertan’s, and had not read the take-or-pay contract for the project, nor seen an economic benefit analysis for our province. Must have been some meeting. Private lobbying.
These are all forms of how the industry petitions for and acquires support from the community, up to the federal level. Lobby, lobby, lobby.
If all this funding from synergy, lobby and enticement were re-directed, industry would easily have the financial capacity for emissions reductions, proper monitoring and enforcement, meant to protect public health and environmental sustainability.
What serves a community better, money put towards beer gardens, golf tournaments and awards shows (PTAC, EPAC, CAPP) or reducing hazardous pollutants and ensuring high pressure sour gas lines are properly maintained and inspected? Priorities are extremely out of place here.
There are billions being wasted on lobbying, propaganda, partisan alignments and Pete Club perks, and hearing industry complain about costs related to protecting public health is revolting. The fact that the federal government accepts this bullsh*t as means to delay policies in which they made a commitment, is worse. …
Property rights do not exist. Right of Entry in Alberta legislates you can not refuse exploration and production for resources on your land. Expropriation is the means for federal projects.
Agreed, industry spends millions on agreeable scientists, academics, biologists, engineers, geos, even doctors. APEGA is a sullied example of a captured professional organization, which is mandated to hold the health and wellness of the public and environment paramount, but never do.
Far from rightful compensation, industry and regulators still insist there are no harms incurred to public health. You can’t get a single doctor in this province to discuss the effects of industrial emissions on health. The Chair of the Maternal and Child Health program at the Alberta’s Children Hospital, is from Husky Energy.
The AER has no public health mandate. Certainly by intention, there has not been one comprehensive epidemiological study done in Canada to date, on the public health impacts of the oil and gas industry. The medical community has failed the public in this regard.
AER picks next “Dickhead” (Pres & CEO): “Back Door” Laurie Pushor, reportedly scandle-corroded pisser on rules, conflict of interest old white man, was Alberta gov’t official under Ralph Klein, is Saskatchewan’s Deputy Minister Energy & Resources and on the Board of STEP, Sask Trade & ***Export*** Partnership
Where did AER’s Executive VP Mark Taylor go? He was Encana manager when the company illegally frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, then lied about it to 200 concerned community members, promising Encana would only frac far below fresh water zones (same lie touted by frac’ers everywhere), after area water wells had already gone bad, and were being investigated by – of course – the criminal, with regulator and govt blessings.
**Public** Accounts Standing Committee on AER’s 100% **industry** funded ICORE scandal: Board Chair Bev Yee (who helped cover-up Encana crimes), blathers on, deflects questions, toots for AER Board and UCP, no wonder UCP appointed her Chair. UCP MLA said “public” money was blown on the scandal knowing AER/ICORE rec’d no public funds.
Deputy Environment Minister Bev Yee – who helped cover-up Encana’s crimes: diverting water without required permit under Water Act, illegal aquifer fracs, community-wide drinking water contamination & exploding water tower – appointed by Alberta gov’t to chair the AER in “steps to clean house.”
Frac Water Orgy Announced by AER’s Mark Taylor (ex-manager Encana who lied to Rosebud, said Encana would never frac their drinking water). No Wonder AEP is Taking Water Licences Away from Farmers/Ranchers: AER grants 10 year blanket approval water licences; Companies need not know where they will frac, or how much they will frac or where they’ll get their water from. Companies “expected” to look at sources other than fresh drinking water, eg hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater, but not if contaminated with methane!
2015: WITH PHOTOS, AER’s EMERGENCY COMMAND CENTRE SET UP 2.5 HRS AWAY! DON’T AER COMMAND STAFF WANT TO DAMAGE THEIR BRAINS? Encana’s Fox Creek blow out spewing 20,000,000,000 litres/day sour gas & condensate: Where’s the regulator? Ex-Encana VP Gerard Protti = AER Chair; Ex-Encana Manager Mark Taylor = AER VP Industry Operations
2016: Canada Revenue Agency owes taxpayers a general legal “duty of care,” but not AER to citizens harmed by the regulator’s gross negligence, fraud and cover-up of illegal fracking? CRA not allowed to intimidate, threaten us, but AER is, including in bad faith, falsely labeling us as terrorists and violating Charter rights?
2016: Andrew Nikiforuk honoured with USA National Science in Society Award for Slick Water. “NASW’s Science in Society Journalism Awards honor and encourage outstanding investigative and interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact for good and ill.”
Andrew Nikiforuk’s Slick Water is published, covering much of AER’s brutal refusal to regulate law violating oil, gas and frac companies, not even after Encana/Ovintiv illegally frac’d a community’s drinking water supply, dangerously contaminating it.
Alberta’s late Rob Schwartz at the Slick Water book launch, ground zero, Rosebud.
2015: Fracing the Bow River: “The most important resource in the province, and the rarest, is water” Then why let “No duty of care,” legally immune, Ex-Encana led, Charter violating AER permit multinationals to frac it?
2015: What’s the AER really up to shutting down Nexen’s 95 pipeline licenses? Protti trying to save his job? Make Albertans forget the courts ruled that the regulator owes no duty of care to anyone no matter how badly harmed, and can violate our constitutional rights with complete legal immunity?
2015: Prevent Cancer Now calls out AER’s Health Fraud! “The AER has no jurisdiction for human health, and Alberta is famed for a chill against the medical community linking ill health to petrochemicals.”
2015: Gerard Protti Sings “I Wanna Stay.” Who is Gerry? Chair of Alberta’s Energy Regulator. AER is: Legally Immune, Charter Violating, “No Duty of Care,” 100 Percent Industry Funded, Deregulating, Non-Enforcing, Lying Propaganda Synergy Machine; Protti IS Director Petromanas; was Encana VP, Lobbyist, Advisor to Cenovus, Creator/Chair of CAPP, Director Alberta Research Council/Innovates …
2015: AER Duty of Care Anywhere? Judge decries chaos, uncertainty around liability of public authorities: “Such a low standard would immunize government from liability in every case of bureaucratic ineptitude, no matter how substandard or damaging the misconduct may be. No court anywhere has set the bar that low.” [Except in Alberta?]
2014: MUST WATCH! MUST READ! Sulfolane (used to sweeten sour gas) leak at Bonavita Energy’s South Rosevear Gas Plant, Edson Alberta, contaminated drinking water, severe health harm experienced by Mersadese Royale, her husband and children; Family evicted after raising concerns publicly
2014: March 31, 2014 Devastation Day for Alberta’s Water: The Oil and Gas Industry takes over total control of Alberta’s Fresh Water as “No Duty of Care” Spying AER now a single regulator, 100% funded by industry, takes over Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Water Act
2013: New Report: Less than 1-percent of Tar Sands Environmental Infractions Penalized by Alberta’s “Best in the World,” “World-Class,” “No Duty of Care,” spying, lying and law violating ERCB (now AER) !!!!!!!!!
2009: When AER fails to silence you by violating your charter rights, judging you to be a criminal without any evidence, having their thug lawyer bully you mercilessly, they send the police to invade your private property trying to terrify you quiet: The Intimidation of Ernst: Members of Harper Government’s RCMP Anti-terrorist Squad Intimidate and Harass Ernst after her Legal Papers were Served on Encana, the EUB (now AER) and Alberta Environment
At the steps to the door of my home.
EUB, after caught breaking the law in 2007, lying and spying, was changed by the Alberta govt to ERCB, which in 2013 the govt changed to AER after the Ernst lawsuit went public and removed public interest from the regulator’s mandate (which outside counsel Glenn Solomon lied about to the Supreme Court of Canada)
Above image from Justice D. W. Perras September 7, 2007 report on EUB’s (now AER) “repulsive” spying on innocent Albertans.
AER is much more evil than EUB was. Encana and Canada’s oilpatch friendly courts made sure of that.
2007: Rob Schwartz and Ernst present to Parliamentary Committee in Ottawa, beseeching MPs to implement CETA and at least make the frac’ers disclose to us their deadly chemicals injected into our drinking water. Don’t expect the feds to do anything to clean up greedy selfish cesspool Alberta; they didn’t do anything to help protect us or our groundwater from frac’ing.
After my presentation, MPs came up to me saying, “What’s your problem? The way of the frac’ers is the standard “business as usual” model. Corporations always do what they want in Canada.” I was horrified then, I remain horrified now at how our elected officials and “regulators” like AER enable corporate crimes in our communities and drinking water.
Rob Schwartz before our presentations.
Rob and I after our presentations.
2001: Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil by Andrew Nikiforuk is published, providing a thrilling, damning indictment of AER’s (when it was EUB) criminality with Encana (when it was Alberta Energy Corp) and the RCMP. Warning, start reading it when you do not need to work the next day – you will not want to put the book down.
1988: Nakoda Nation, Alberta: Engineer reported hundreds of drinking water wells contaminated with sour gas on Stoney Reserve west of Calgary. H2S is deadly, damages the brain even at low levels. AER blamed nature and if not nature, then bacteria. Same blame game polka after frac’ing contaminated drinking water wells with gas at Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Spirit River, Rockyford, Rosebud, Redland, etc.
1982: Alberta: Sour gas and sickness; Smelly smelly run-around. Regulators/Health authorities, then and now, lie to the harmed, coddle the polluters. Alberta’s Pollution Solution: Discredit the poisoned; call them crazy.