Canada Action

Canada Action

Background

Canada Action is a Canadian federally-registered non-profit organization launched in 2012 that advances pro-oil and gas industry sentiments through public engagement and social media. [1], [2]

The group was founded by Cody Battershill, a realtor from Calgary, Alberta. Battershill advocates for the oil and gas industry in Canada through mainstream and social media and uses online campaigning to generate public support for specific energy projects, like the Alberta tar sands, as well as pipelines and fossil fuel energy sources such as natural gas. [3]

Canada Action’s website hosts a number of pledges in support of major oil and gas pipelines including the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the TransCanada Energy East pipeline. The organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account are used to share social media graphics that celebrate advancements made in the oil and gas industry as well as Canada’s prosperity, which the group argues is an outcome of the use of fossil fuels. [4]

In an interview with Thee Westerner, Battershill described Canada Action as a “”non-partisan movement of Canadians that are taking action to improve our country.” In an Op-Ed, he said “Canada Action is working hard to galvanize ordinary Canadians – inside and outside the oil sands sector – to examine the facts on the economic and environmental impacts of the sands themselves. We say the numbers presented by the uninformed opposition to the sector just doesn’t add up.” [5], [6]

DeSmog Canada found corporate registry documents showing Canada Action was registered as a numbered corporation in 2012 before being registered as a non-profit society in September 2014. The organization also works closely with Oilsands Action as well as Canada Action. [2]

Stance on Climate Change

Canada Action advocates for the oil and gas industry by arguing the sector is critical to Canada’s economy and prosperity. Canada Action founder and spokesperson Cody Battershill also argues the organization is fundamentally patriotic and has an agenda of improving Canada as a nation.

March 2017

In an interview with Alberta Oil, Canada Action founder Cody Battershill declared: [7]

“[O]pposing Canadian oil production and pipelines is a negative for the global environment, as every barrel that doesn’t come from Canada is quickly replaced by another jurisdiction often with weaker standards.” [7]

Battershill also argues that because Canada is socially and politically stable, it ought to play a leading role in the global oil economy — a frame that strongly resembles that of Ethical Oil, a pro-industry organization arguing for the moral superiority of Canada’s oilsands. [7]

In a 2015 interview with Thee Westerner , Battershill said “no country on earth” does resource extraction “better then [sic] Canada.” [8]

The moral argument for developing Canada’s oilsands has been strongly advanced by conservative pundit Ezra Levant through the Ethical Oil Institute and his book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oilsands. Battershill’s line of argumentation also resembles the pro-fossil fuel campaign of Alex Epstein, director of the Center for Industrial Progress and vocal advocate of the oil industry. Like Epstein Battershill argues fossil fuels are integral to prosperity. Canada Action encourages Canadians to become more active citizen advocates for the oil industry. [2]

Funding

Battershill has said publicly that he financed Canada Action with his own money but has refused to say if the organization has received industry or political funds. As a registered non-profit, Canada Action is not required to disclose its sources of funding. The group is supported by a broad network of individuals with deep ties to the oil and gas industry and the Conservative Party of Canada. [9]

I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars out of my own pocket,” Battershill told Stu McNish, producer of the Conversations That Matter video series “There is nothing astroturf or fake about my passion for my country,” he added. “I’ve put my money, my time and my actions where my mouth is.” [9]

See video below: [9]

Corporate & Nonprofit Filings

Before becoming a federally-registered non-profit in 2014, Canada Action was incorporated as a numbered corporation in 2012. The provincial corporation appears to have been dissolved, before a separate federal entity was created. View related registry documents below:

Key People

Board of Directors

As of 2018, according to Government of Canada filings, Canada Action Coalition Ltd. only listed two directors: [1]

Past Directors (2015)

Canada Action listed three board members on its society registration as of 2015:  [2]

Matt Gelinas is a well-known Conservative campaign strategist with connections to companies implicated in the Canadian robocall scandal in 2011. Susan Gelinas is the president of Patchwork Consultants which shares an address with Canada Action as well as an oil and gas data consultation service owned and operated by Dave Gelinas.  [2]

Actions

June 14, 2019

Pipeline proponent Vivian Krause appeared on an episode of The Lynda Steele Show, debating Stand.Together director Tzeporah Berman. When asked about her funding, Krause revealed that costs related to her recent speaking events had been covered by Cody Battershill and Canada Action: [12]

“I’m doing this pro bono,” Krause said. “We spent about less than $5,000 this week and that money, about five grand came from Canada action, Cody Battershill.  He’s a realtor in Calgary and […] he gave that money to a small group called The North Matters.”

June 19, 2018

Vivian M Krause, a pro-oil Vancouver-based blogger who was openly admitted to receiving funding from the oil, gas, and mining industry, was scheduled to speak at a Calgary event hosted by Cody Battershill and Canada Action on June 20, 2018 in Calgary, AB. The event was titled “Who’s funding pipeline protests in Canada?” where Krause would discuss “U.S.-Funded Environmental & Election Activism in Canada’. [10]

The day before her event, Krause appeared alongside Battershill, founder of “Canada Action” on Global News Radio with host Danielle Smith: [11]

Speaking on anti-pipeline activism, Battershill said “a lot of this activism has been misleading people. […] I think that if you are opposing pipelines, you are actually putting the environment at further risk or increased risk because pipelines are the safest way to transport oil.” [11]

  • Oil Sands 101 — Battershill organizes an “Oil Sands 101” meetup that lists the same phone number as Canada Action.

Contact & Address

According to information on file at the Government of Canada, Canada Action was registered to the following address: [1]

5838 Burbank Road SE
Calgary AB T2H 1Z3
Canada

Social Media

Resources

  1. Federal Corporation Information – 891577-6,” Government of Canada. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/2KBMC 
  2. Carol Linnitt and Donald Gutstein. “‘Grassroots’ Canada Action Carries Deep Ties to Conservative Party, Oil and Gas Industry,” The Narwhal, July 22, 2015.
  3. Cody Battershill,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  4. Campaigns,” Canada Action. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/3bOEB
  5. Fighting For Canada: Cody Battershill,” Thee Westerner, July 10, 2015. Archived December 28, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/hBrma
  6. Cody Battershill. “A CANADA TO BE PROUD OF,” Thee Westener, October 2, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/yrTwj
  7. The Great Green Debate,” Alberta Oil, March 20, 2017. Archived July 9, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/v3Xh8
  8. Fighting For Canada: Cody Battershill,” Thee Westerner, July 10, 2015. Archived December 28, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/hBrma
  9. Canada Action Cody Battershill: Canada Must Promote Its Natural Resources,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Conversations That Matter, with Stuart McNish,” June 6, 2015. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  10. Who’s funding pipeline protests in Canada?” Canada Action, June 15, 2018. Archived June 26, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/PYoXi
  11. Vivian Krause and Cody Batershill,” global News 770 CHQR radio. Retrieved from omny.fm. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  12. The great oil debate. Who is funding the fight for and against big oil in Canada?The Lynda Steele Show, June 14, 2019. Retrieved from omny.fm. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.

Other Resources

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