Extended deadline for inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns draws criticism

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“The whole Allan inquiry has just been a disaster from the get-go, which is unfortunately because if this was really about finding the truth, which is what public inquiries are about, this would be very useful,” Bratt said.

“This was never about finding the truth.”

The report was originally due July 2, 2020, and had twice before received deadline extensions. The first extension also increased the inquiry’s budget to $3.5 million from $2.5 million.

Two weeks ago, the inquiry posted an extension notice online, but claimed it was posted in error and said its Jan. 31 deadline remained.

Earlier in the month, the inquiry released three reports it commissioned for a total of $100,000, including one report by an English energy researcher who argued efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would create a dystopia of restrictions to daily life.

In response, University of Calgary environmental law professor Martin Z. Olszynski wrote the commissioned reports were “textbook examples of climate change denialism” that veer into conspiracy.

Olszynski also made an application with the inquiry earlier this month asking Allan to send a National Observer article by Sandy Garossino titled “A data-based dismantling of Jason Kenney’s foreign-funding conspiracy theory” to his fellow inquiry participants.

In a ruling also posted to the inquiry website Friday, Allan rejected the application, saying he did not “view the absence of the Garasino Article (sic)” as a sign reading material for inquiry participants was insufficient or demonstrating bias.

— With files from The Canadian Press

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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