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Have you heard of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s “energy war room?”

Kenney officially launched the war room on June 7, pledging to use $30 million in public funds to fight environmental groups behind a “campaign of lies and defamation” against Alberta’s energy industry.

Kenney told reporters that environmental groups “helped to write two devastating federal bills” — Bill C-48, which would formalize a 30-year-old moratorium on heavy oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s north coast, and Bill C-69, which aims to revamp Canada’s environmental assessment law.

(You may recall that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper gutted Canada’s environmental assessment act back in 2012.)

Well, Kenney’s comments got us thinking.

What role did environmental groups play in lobbying the government on Bill C-69?

And what role did they play in lobbying the Senate, which is supposed to give sober second thought to proposed new laws?

In the case of Bill C-69, the Senate made 187 sweeping amendments — some of them word for word from the oil and gas industry — that environmental assessment experts said would make the bill worse than the Harper-era legislation.

Our reporters Sharon J. Riley and Sarah Cox combed through the federal lobbyist registry, only to discover that it wasn’t environmental groups who had the most chinwags with senators.

Far from it.

It was industry, and especially the oil and gas industry. Along with related groups, industry was responsible for 80 per cent of the lobbying on Bill C-69.

Dive into the details of our investigation and keep scrolling, because we've got lots more — from the Trans Mountain pipeline decision to a thoughtful (and beautiful) look at how fishing communities are dealing with new restrictions on catching Chinook salmon.

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-chief

Why we made a podcast about Bear 148

By Molly Segal

A well-known grizzly bear in Banff was relocated, then shot by a trophy hunter. Here's why the outcry over her death and the secretive decisions officials made about her fate are now the subject of The Narwhal's inaugural podcast. Read more.

Life after Chinook: a West Coast fishing community looks to reinvent itself

By Judith Lavoie

In the small fishing community of Port Renfrew, B.C., people who have made their livelihoods off sport and commercial fishing are coming to terms with new restrictions introduced this spring by the federal government, and thinking hard about what comes next. Read more.

Why we’ll be talking about the Trans Mountain pipeline for a long while yet

By Jimmy Thomson

The embattled oilsands pipeline has become a proxy battle, pitting the urgency of the climate crisis against near-term economic concerns. So how did we get here? Read more.

U.S. senators to Horgan: clean up B.C.’s mining mess

By Sarah Cox

In an unprecedented letter signed by both Democrats and Republicans, American senators flag a lack of provincial oversight of B.C.’s metal and coal mining industry as trouble for downstream communities. Read more.

Why an international coalition is going all out to stop mining in B.C.’s Skagit headwaters

By Judith Lavoie

Imperial Metals, the company responsible for the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster, has applied to drill in southwestern British Columbia, in the headwaters of a river that provides water for millions of people. Read more.

Back-to-back historic floods in Atlantic Canada force a climate reckoning

By Greg Mercer

After experiencing once-in-a-century floods two years in a row, residents and communities grapple with a new reality and tough choices: rebuild, or pack up and leave? Read more.

UN says Canada isn’t doing enough to save Wood Buffalo National Park

By Judith Lavoie

'Considerably more effort' needed to combat the effects of climate change, upstream industrial developments and resource extraction on Canada's largest national park — or it may end up on the list of World Heritage in Danger, UNESCO says. Read more.

A note from a Narwhal "A captivating series that brings to light the complicated existence of a bear called 148. The podcast left me thinking about what I value and what I'm willing to give up in order for those more vulnerable than me to survive and flourish."

— A satisfied listener after turning in to our new podcast, Bear 148 The Narwhal in the world We got props this week from the Solutions Journalism Network for Judith Lavoie's thoughtful reporting from Port Renfrew! Are you following us on Twitter yet? @thenarwhalca We be following hot tips and chasing good stories like ...

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