Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre appears all set to be vocal once again, preparing a brand-new project to “change perceptions” about the province’s oil and gas industry and construct what it’s calling a social movement in its assistance.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, centre, addresses participants at a press conference to reveal the launch of the Canadian Energy Centre in 2019, flanked Energy Minister Sonya Savage (left) and Tom Olsen, handling director of the Canadian Energy Centre. The energy ‘war room’ appears all set to introduce a brand-new project. (Greg Fulmes/The Canadian Press)

Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre appears prepared to be singing again, planning a brand-new project to “change understandings” about the province’s oil and gas industry and build what it’s calling a social motion in its assistance.

One year after the province’s United Conservative federal government ended the controversial company’s outreach throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the so-called “war space” has put out a request for proposals on how to alter the worths and mindsets held by individuals in Eastern Canada and the northern United States.

The winning prospect should show a “demonstrated ability to change understandings about messages and values,” says an Aug. 23 document. Its supreme goal is “developing a social movement” in assistance of Canada’s oil and gas industry.

” We are delighted to be moving forward on the CEC’s objective– to advance Canada as the provider of choice for the world’s growing need for responsibly produced energy,” Tom Olsen, the centre’s director, said in an email.

The request for propositions does not consist of a price, which is left for the bidders to propose. The agreement is to be granted in late October and will last a year with possible extensions.

The United Conservative government developed the centre to promote the energy industry and fire back versus what it considers false information. It has given that criticized The New york city Times paper and scolded the makers of a kids’s movie featuring Bigfoot for what it felt was an anti-oil message.

Budget plan woes

In March 2020, the province dramatically reduced the centre’s resources.

That year, the agency lost about 90 percent of its $30- million budget plan, which comes mostly from the federal government’s carbon levy. In a press release, the government said all paid ad campaign and work with outside contractors would stop.

The federal government’s February budget plan restored the centre’s funding to about $12 million. The marketing moratorium seems over with the new ask for proposals.

“[The contractor will] establish and produce a minimum of four consumer-direct tactical marketing campaigns that are psychological and compelling in order to measurably alter understandings about Canada’s energy sector,” the document states.

It states the project will be largely targeted at British Columbia, the Maritimes, Ontario and particularly Quebec.

“[The centre] expects the advocate to have a local existence in Quebec.”

In the U.S., the project is to focus on border states, refining states and states along the eastern coast “where policy impact is significant.”

The file says ads will be bought nationwide and worldwide. The campaign will be conducted through standard, digital and social networks, it states.

Bidders are required to send two examples of previous work that effectively changed the attitudes of the target audience.

New Democrat energy critic Marlin Schmidt said spending more money to get non-Albertans to feel excellent about the province’s energy market isn’t how to diversify Alberta’s economy.

” We need a strong plan to diversify Alberta’s economy so people can go back to work,” he said.

” Putting more ads out as a method of getting individuals to feel good about the existing state of affairs doesn’t do anything to attain those objectives.”

Gaffes and bad moves

Founded in December 2019 as part of the then-new federal government’s “resist” technique, the Calgary-based centre was established as a provincial federal government corporation but is supervised by 3 cabinet ministers on its board of directors.

It has suffered gaffes and errors.

Olsen said sorry after the centre questioned The New York Times’ credibility on Twitter. The centre was also slammed for utilizing another organization’s trademarked logo design and for having its staff members describe themselves as press reporters instead of civil servant.

Olsen said almost 75,000 Canadians have actually sent letters or signed centre-supported petitions.

The centre, he said, has produced 363 articles, which reach more than one million Canadians a month. More than 60 percent of the centre’s website traffic originates from outside of Alberta, Olsen stated.

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