Taleesha Thorogood and Evan Menzies talk about the grassroots movement, Canada’s Energy Citizens, that’s giving voice to those who support a robust and responsible energy industry in Canada.
Evan: My name’s Evan Menzies. I’m the digital advocacy advisor for the Canada Energy Citizens program.
Taleesha: My name is Taleesha Thorogood. I’m the prairies advisor for Canada’s Energy Citizens.
Evan: Canada’s Energy Citizens is a grassroots program designed to give a voice to people who support Canada’s oil and natural gas sector, and for them to be mobilized right across the country to show and tell the story about the positive role oil and gas plays in people’s lives.
Taleesha: Opponents tend to be much more vocal in opposition to the industry and so it’s really important that we bring people together who are all supportive of the industry so that they have the ability to also speak out in favour of it. We do multiple things including community events, outreach, things with campuses and events with campuses to help students get involved but also multicultural outreach. The one project that we did was, leading up to the Trans Mountain approval, 20,000 people from across the country wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and said that ‘we support this project and we want this to go forward.’ It really did have an impact on the Prime Minister and politics as a whole and getting that project approved and moving it forward.
Evan: Canadians right across the country that support our oil and natural gas sector are really excited about the program. Just about on any metric you can think of when it comes to Canada’s oil and natural gas sector, whether it’s the environment, safety standards, human rights – on any of those types of metrics, Canada’s one of the best in the world.
Taleesha: I’ve lived all over the country and recently moved to Alberta just six months ago. Recently coming from Ontario, people that are supportive of this industry are not only in Alberta and where oil and gas is developed. It’s from across the country. People are supporting Canada’s energy industry because they realize how important it is. They realize that without this industry that hundreds of thousands of people would be without work, they realize that these jobs aren’t only in Alberta and that it affects every part of their lives.
Evan: The benefits of oil and gas are simple. They keep our houses warm. They help us fuel our cars, make it so parents can drop their kids off to school, get to work, get to hockey practice, and they obviously bring huge benefits to governments right across the country in tax revenues and royalties so we can build our roads, schools and hospitals, hire teachers and nurses, and doctors that we badly need in our communities.