Canadian Feds Considered Hiring PR Firm To Polish Image of Oilsands

"OTTAWA -- The federal government has explored hiring a professional public relations firm and organizing trips for international leaders to promote Canada's oilsands industry, while fighting back against foreign climate change policies requiring it to reduce its pollution, a newly released federal document has revealed.

The action plan, prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, also suggested hosting an 'annual retreat' of its oilsands advocacy team in London to plan a strategy to help boost the image of the industry that has developed an international reputation, as a result of campaigns launched by environmental groups, for producing 'dirty oil.'

'Consideration should be given to hiring a professional PR firm to help the Pan European Oil Sands Team further develop and implement a serious public advocacy strategy,' said a draft version of a 2010-2011 action plan, released through access to information legislation.

'This has to be very well co-ordinated. The PR firm would play more of an advisory role. Hiring a PR firm would involve incurring a substantial cost.'"

Mike De Souza reports for Postmedia News May 30, 2011.

Source: Postmedia, 05/31/2011