In late September, Alberta premier Danielle Smith (pictured above) launched a new Canada-wide advertising campaign called “Tell the Feds.” The ad campaign opposed the Trudeau government’s upcoming clean energy regulations, which aim to move Canada to a net-zero electricity grid by 2035.
Now, a climate activist group called 350.org has launched a new website called “Show the Feds.” According to Amara Possian, 350.org’s lead Canadian organizer, the campaign aims to confront the “fear and misinformation” spread by Premier Smith about climate action and affordability.
In her ads, Smith claims that the Trudeau government’s regulations will cause the shift to net zero to happen too quickly. This will “double, triple, or even quadruple” energy prices across Canada. It’ll also cause blackouts and wipe out entire sectors of the economy.
350.org responds by pointing to research indicating that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels. According to Clean Energy Canada, wind power will cost 40% less than fossil fuel energy by 2030. Already, a typical Toronto family can save $800 a month by switching to heat pumps and other clean energy technologies.
Smith asserts that the cost of converting Alberta’s grid from a fossil fuel base to a renewables base will be anywhere from $200 billion to $425 billion. These costs will get passed on to consumers, resulting in massive price increases.
350.org counters by arguing that Canadians are already paying the price for the oil industry’s greed. Oil companies made almost $40 billion in profits in 2022. In addition, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has found that oil profits have caused 25% of Canada’s inflation since 2021.
350.org has criticized Smith for wasting public funds on a campaign that undermines efforts to address climate change. The Alberta government has spent $8 million on the “Tell the Feds” campaign.
350.org is an international non-governmental organization based in New York City. It was founded by Bill McKibben and Jeremy Osborn in 2007.
Image Source: Jason Scott