Commissioner Steve Allan welcomes publication of the Alberta Inquiry Final Report

October 21, 2021

Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan today welcomed the public release of the Final Report on the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns. Commissioner Allan encourages Albertans to read the report and hopes stakeholders will move forward with the implementation of the recommendations set out in the Final Report. Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage released the Final Report today.

Allan previously shared his comments on delivery of the Final Report to the Government of Alberta; see “Alberta Inquiry delivers Final Report to Government of Alberta” (July 30, 2021), (see below).

With the delivery and now publication of the Final Report, Allan considers his role as Commissioner of the Alberta Inquiry at an end. Allan thanks the Government of Alberta for this public service mandate and sincerely hopes the Final Report and its recommendations will help set a foundation for meaningful, collaborative and constructive action by a cross-section of stakeholders.

“Counsel to the Inquiry have informed me of the restrictions in law placed on commissioners following the delivery of their reports, which would prevent continued engagement on the issues addressed within their terms of reference. I will therefore have no further comment on the Inquiry process or my report and will let my report speak for itself,” Allan said.

The Inquiry’s Report can be found at: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/public-inquiry-into-anti-alberta-energy-campaigns-report

 


Alberta Inquiry delivers Final Report to Government of Alberta

July 30, 2021

Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan delivered his Final Report today on the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns to Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

The report contains more than 600 pages, including recommendations, and attaches a Deloitte Forensic Report on foreign and government funding and supporting evidence. Under the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, the Minister has 90 days within which to review the report before releasing it to the public. The Inquiry’s primary focus is to provide a forensic accounting of foreign funding directed towards the frustration of the development of the oil and gas industry in Alberta.

“This Inquiry has been a challenging and intriguing assignment that has revealed important issues of which the government and Albertans should be aware. I hope that this report will provide a lens into these issues and the related public policy implications, and that it will not only stimulate dialogue, but more importantly, that it will set a foundation for meaningful, collaborative and constructive action by a cross-section of stakeholders,” Commissioner Steve Allan said.

“My hope is that the government, industry, business and economic development associations, public policy organizations, environmental organizations, academics and others will move these recommendations forward.  I look forward to the opportunity to remain involved in working to further consider, and potentially assist in the implementation of the recommendations offered in the Final Report, arising from the Inquiry’s findings. I see these issues and public policy development as being critical to the prosperity of Albertans, now and into the future,” Allan said.

Gathered a wide spectrum of perspectives

“From the start of the Inquiry in July 2019, I sought to gather a variety of views on the multitude of complex issues covered by the Terms of Reference. I welcomed public submissions via the Inquiry website, and commissioned reports. Over the past two years, I have conducted more than 100 interviews with academics, researchers, industry officials, environmentalists, not-for-profit organizations and members of Indigenous communities. The Inquiry team and I undertook extensive open-source research of more than 200,000 documents, including websites, tax returns, regulatory filings, strategy documents and public accounts that included voluminous records of charitable grants, tax filings and public records of organizations,” Allan said.

Extensive engagement

“During the first phase of the Inquiry’s formal Engagement Process, I invited 47 individuals and organizations to be Participants for Commentary, to provide input on matters before the Inquiry, including commissioned reports, books and research papers. During the second stage of the Engagement Process, I invited about 40 Participants for Response to review, confidentially, some of the evidence, and portions of the Inquiry’s draft preliminary observations, analysis, and potential findings of the Inquiry on a secure Inquiry database. I have reviewed and considered the Participants’ input in concluding my Final Report,” Allan said.

Written inquiry process deemed most efficient and effective

The Inquiry was conducted primarily as a written process. Public hearings associated with public inquiries are both costly and lengthy. Therefore, the Commissioner determined that given the nature and focus of the Inquiry, and the budget available, the Inquiry would not be best served by holding public hearings, which would have resulted in an elongated process well beyond the resources afforded the Inquiry.

“To address these concerns, I adopted what could be described as a hearing-by-correspondence process. After an initial period where the Inquiry invited submissions from the public, further engagement and commentary was requested from those thought to have an important perspective to share with the Inquiry,” Allan said.

“Separately, I created a process that afforded Participants for Response, as defined by the Inquiry’s Rules of Procedure and Practice, who might potentially be affected or impacted by a finding made by the Inquiry, an opportunity to respond to such findings.  This was an important step to ensure that principles of procedural fairness were observed, and parties had an opportunity to respond to potential findings the Inquiry may make,” Allan said.

“There has been plenty of public debate and commentary on this Inquiry, and given the legal nature of public inquiries, I have remained focused on completing this assignment in a thorough, professional, comprehensive and credible manner. It has not been my place to advocate for this assignment or provide comment beyond the legal proceedings of the Inquiry. Rather, it has been my duty to complete the task. Throughout this process, I have endeavoured to hear from and report on the multitude of views on these matters.

“When my Final Report is made public, I believe Albertans will gain a new understanding of how foreign funding has played an influential role in public policy and political discourse. It is my firm belief that it is up to Albertans alone to determine how they wish to see their public policy and political will realized, unfettered by the influence of foreign monies.

“I welcome an opportunity to meet with Minister Savage and the Alberta Government about my findings and look forward to sharing the Final Report and my findings with Albertans” Allan said.

 

Sincerely,

Commissioner Steve Allan

 


Overview

In July 2019, the Government of Alberta launched a public inquiry, under the Public Inquiries Act, into anti-Alberta energy campaigns that are supported by foreign organizations.

Steve Allan, a Calgary forensic and restructuring accountant with 40 years of experience, was appointed as the Commissioner to lead the Inquiry.


Introduction

This website has been established to provide relevant information to the public about the work being done by the Inquiry.

Since the Inquiry was launched in July of 2019 the investigative phase of the Inquiry has been ongoing, including:

  • undertaking preliminary research
  • gathering records and conducting interviews
  • reviewing submissions and reports referred to the Inquiry
  • planning the next steps of the Inquiry, which are set out here
  • the continuing development of this website

This website will be updated as matters progress.

If you have questions or comments relevant to the Inquiry, please email the Inquiry at [email protected].*


Mandate

The Commissioner's mandate is set forth in section 2 of the Inquiry's Terms of Reference and provides as follows:

  • "2(1) The commissioner shall inquire into the role of foreign funding, if any, in anti-Alberta energy campaigns, and in doing so shall inquire into matters including, but not limited to, the following:
    • (a) whether any foreign organization that has evinced an intent harmful or injurious to the Alberta oil and gas industry has provided financial assistance to a Canadian organization, which may include any Canadian organization that has disseminated misleading or false information about the Alberta oil and gas industry;
    • (b) whether any Canadian organization referred to in clause (a) has also received grants or other discretionary funding from the government of Alberta, from municipal, provincial or territorial governments in Canada or from the Government of Canada;
    • (c) whether any Canadian organization referred to in clause (a) has charitable status in Canada.
  • 2(2) As part of the inquiry, the commissioner shall examine the work completed by other investigations in other jurisdictions into similar activities or alleged activities, including but not limited to the following:
    • (a) the 2017 report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America, entitled Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution;
    • (b) the 2018 United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology Majority Staff Report, entitled Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media.
  • 2(3) The commissioner shall make such findings and recommendations as the commissioner considers advisable, and may make findings and recommendations to achieve the following:
    • (a) make the Government of Alberta and Albertans generally aware of whether foreign funds are being provided in the manner described in subsection (1)(a);
    • (b) enable the Government of Alberta to respond effectively if any anti-Alberta energy campaigns are funded, in whole or in part, in the manner described in subsection (1)(a);
    • (c) assist the Government of Alberta by recommending any additional eligibility criteria that should be considered when issuing government grants;
    • (d) assist the Government of Alberta by recommending the interpretation of existing eligibility criteria or the creation of new eligibility criteria for attaining or maintaining charitable status.

Reporting timelines

The Commissioner reports to the Alberta’s Minister of Energy as follows:

  • an interim report with advice, proposals, recommendations, analyses or policy options related to the Inquiry was submitted to the minister on January 31, 2020 in accordance with the Terms of Reference.
  • a final report setting out the findings and recommendations no later than July 30, 2021

The Minister will publish the final report within 90 days of receiving it from the Commissioner.


Engagement Process Outlined for Alberta Public Inquiry into Foreign Funding of Energy Campaigns

Inquiry Framework, procedures and rules defined

September 14, 2020

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Alberta Public Inquiry into foreign funding of anti-Alberta energy campaigns has established a framework for conducting the Inquiry’s engagement with specific parties about the information gathered to date.

“For this engagement, I have posted the Rules for Procedure and Practice, accompanied by my Ruling on Interpretation of the Terms of Reference (together, the Inquiry Framework), in order to provide clarity and formality, which will lead to findings to be contained within a final report to be sent to Alberta’s Energy Minister, and subsequently released publicly,” said Steve Allan, Commissioner of the Alberta Public Inquiry.

“I anticipate this engagement process will be conducted primarily in writing, including an exchange of correspondence and written submissions, by parties who are granted standing to review and respond to issues of interest to the Inquiry. Additional face-to-face meetings may also be conducted. I am conscious of striking a balance between the need for an efficient and cost-effective process, and the importance of ensuring parties are treated fairly and given a reasonable opportunity to respond to matters that may affect their interests,” Allan said.

The Inquiry Framework, containing the Ruling on Interpretation of the Terms of Reference and the Rules for Procedure and Practice, is posted on the Inquiry website www.albertainquiry.ca.

Background

In July 2019, the Government of Alberta launched the Alberta inquiry, under the Public Inquiries Act, into the anti-Alberta energy campaigns that are supported by foreign organizations. Steve Allan, a Calgary forensic and restructuring accountant with 40 years of experience, was appointed as the Commissioner to lead the Inquiry.

Contacts                                          

Alan Boras
Email: 
[email protected]
Phone: 403.630.4911


Alberta Public Inquiry into anti-energy campaigns schedule extended to hear from funding entities

June 25, 2020

CALGARY – The schedule of the Alberta Inquiry into foreign funding of Alberta anti-energy campaigns has been extended to October 30, 2020 to hear from funding entities that have been identified in the Inquiry’s research to date, and to accommodate challenges due to COVID-19.

In its work to date, the Inquiry has conducted more than 100 interviews with academics, researchers, industry officials, environmentalists, not-for-profit organizations and members of Indigenous communities to gather a variety of views. It has researched voluminous records of charitable grants, tax filings and public records of organizations. In the next stage of the Inquiry’s process, the Commissioner will afford parties an opportunity to consider and respond to relevant material collected through the research and investigative work to date. The Commissioner expects to be providing further information on the specific process to be followed in the near future. The Inquiry continues to welcome voices and views from a wide variety of perspectives. Information on the Inquiry and how to send a submission is available on the Inquiry’s website: www.albertainquiry.ca.

Background

In July 2019, the Government of Alberta launched the Alberta inquiry, under the Public Inquiries Act, into the anti-Alberta energy campaigns that are supported by foreign organizations. Steve Allan, a Calgary forensic and restructuring accountant with 40 years of experience, was appointed as the Commissioner to lead the Inquiry.


Interim Report delivered to government

January 31, 2020

I’m pleased to report that I have prepared and submitted my Interim Report to the Government of Alberta in accordance with the timelines set out in the Terms of Reference for the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns.

Work on the inquiry started in July 2019, with extensive research, consultation and analysis having followed. As part of this work, I’ve met and engaged with many people and organizations representing all facets of the Inquiry’s mandate.

The delivery of the Interim Report today marks a key milestone in the Inquiry’s work.  Government is currently reviewing the Interim Report and I await to hear from the Minister.

Sincerely,
Commissioner Steve Allan


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