Stephen Harper’s cabinet personally approved ads

An image supplied by Alberta-based energy company TransCanada that was featured in Canadian government advertising promoting the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington.

An image supplied by Alberta-based energy company TransCanada that was featured in Canadian government advertising promoting the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington. Photo courtesy of Natural Resources Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s department and his finance minister have personally approved at least two separate multimillion dollar ad campaigns paid for by taxpayers, say government officials.

Both the Finance and Natural Resources Departments said Friday that they developed the two ad campaigns “in consultation” with Joe Oliver’s office and the Privy Council Office.

One campaign, which concluded in April, promoted the Canadian oil industry in the United States. A separate ad campaign is now telling Canadians that the government is helping families.

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Exxon Mobil discourages media coverage of ALEC funding

This brochure promoting TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline was distributed at a recent ALEC conference. The company says it's not a member of ALEC but that it sponsored an "ice cream social" event at the meeting.

This brochure promoting TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline was distributed at a recent ALEC conference. TransCanada said it’s not a member of ALEC but that it sponsored an “ice cream social” event at the meeting. Photo courtesy of Nick Surgey, Center for Media and Democracy.

Exxon Mobil says there is “no story” for reporters to tell about its funding for the American Legislative Exchange Council – a non-profit organization that connects lobbyists with American state legislators on secretive committees that draft model laws in a wide range of public policy issues.

Exxon Mobil also requested to speak to an editor from the Toronto Star to explain why there was “no story.”

The company said that it doesn’t deny climate change.

A new story about ALEC was published by the Toronto Star on Saturday and you can find it here.

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Four strange details about Keystone XL pipeline debate

A scarecrow stands guard to prevent birds from landing on an oilsands tailings pond.

A scarecrow stands guard to prevent birds from landing on an oilsands tailings pond near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Here are four unusual details about the debate surrounding TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline proposal:

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Welcome to my newsfeed

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Three months have passed since my last day at Postmedia News. In that time, I’ve heard from some who are curious about what I’ve been working on.

I used to archive old published stories on this page. But from now on it will be the spot to keep track of my latest investigations.

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