Home Canada Attorney denies accusation that man leading Alberta oil inquiry is biased

Attorney denies accusation that man leading Alberta oil inquiry is biased

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Attorney denies accusation that man leading Alberta oil inquiry is biased

A court has been told that a man leading an inquiry into alleged international-funded anti-Alberta energy campaigns ought to be allowed to continue his work because accusations of bias are unsuitable and his investigation is within the final public hobby.

Court docket of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner heard submissions from lawyers representing inquiry commissioner Steve Allan and a consortium of real-industry interveners.

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Allan, a Calgary forensic accountant, used to be tapped in July 2019 to e-book an inquiry into what Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative authorities comprise lengthy argued is a concerted effort bankrolled by deep-pocketed U.S. foundations to hamstring Alberta’s oil and gasoline industry.

Environmental charity Ecojustice is asking Horner to shut down the inquiry, in half because it contends there is an cheap apprehension of bias.

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Ecojustice attorney Barry Robinson argued Thursday that Allan’s enhance for the election advertising and marketing campaign of Alberta cabinet minister Doug Schweitzer reveals he’s no longer autonomous. Robinson pointed to, amongst other things, a reception the commissioner held in his residence for Schweitzer in March 2019.

Schweitzer would four months later, as justice minister within the newly elected UCP authorities, decry a “international-funded misinformation advertising and marketing campaign” at some level of a news conference at some level of which he announced the inquiry, court heard.

On Friday, David Wachowich, a attorney for Allan, used to be severe of Robinson’s “drive-by of Mr. Allan.”

He said Ecojustice is “cherry-selecting” from Allan’s lengthy and “laudable” engagement in various political and community causes.

He added that Allan’s enhance for Schweitzer used to be no longer inherently partisan, however used to be due to his belief that the candidate used to be the good hope to advance a flood-mitigation project for Calgary.

“He’s doing what he’s regularly finished: to enhance Calgary’s society and enhance residing prerequisites for Calgarians and Calgary companies,” Wachowich said.

He said Allan’s many years of accounting expertise form him correctly-suited to e-book a analysis that’s investigative and inquisitorial — no longer one with a predetermined final consequence, as Ecojustice contends.

“If the leisure suggests on its face that the phrases of reference and this project are investigative or inquisitorial in nature, it is Mr. Allan’s name himself,” said Wachowich.

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He veritably likened Allan to a ship captain whose route used to be charted by authorities to scrutinize a coastline deemed within the final public hobby.

“Mr. Allan urges that this court enable his ship to continue to wander,” said Wachowich.

“He ought to be field to the Queen’s justice easiest when he returns to residence port with an memoir of his travels to the of us.”

Robinson said in his rebuttal that every thing within the metaphorical ship’s wake is immoral.

“These waves comprise already hit the shore and can’t be remedied,” he said.

Furthermore Friday, court heard from a attorney representing 300 real-industry Indigenous groups and oil and gasoline companies, as correctly as oilpatch entrepreneur and veteran Dragon’s Den megastar Brett Wilson.

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“They’re deeply struggling from the correctly being of Alberta’s oil and gasoline industry,” said Maureen Killoran as she argued that the fair of the inquiry is upright.

Robinson on Thursday known as the inquiry a “political gunfight” meant to intimidate of us that disagree with the UCP authorities’s stand on energy construction.

Killoran said the matters earlier than the inquiry are clearly of public anguish.

“The fair of the inquiry, as acknowledged by cabinet, is to admire the facts and advise authorities. Why is it so intimidating to the applicants?” she asked.

“If these allegations are unsuitable, now we deserve to know this, too.”

Horner said she expects to form a decision earlier than Allan’s Could well 31 decrease-off date to post his characterize back to the Alberta authorities. She is also reserving a decision on whether to grant Ecojustice’s query to bar the characterize’s liberate till she solutions.


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Attorney denies accusation that man leading Alberta oil inquiry is biased