OTTAWA – On July 19, Ottawa-based think tank Public Policy Forum released “Project of the Century: A Blueprint for Growing Canada’s Clean Electricity Supply – and Fast.”

But when Pipeline Online asked for permission to reprint the entire report, in serial form, they refused, and then promptly changed their copyright notice for everyone.

The 43 page report is the most comprehensive discussion of Canada’s “energy transition,” as envisioned by the Liberal federal government, Pipeline Online has come across. It focuses on more than doubling the electrical grid by 2050, but doing so without growth in fossil fuel power generation.

Screen capture of Public Policy Forum web page on Aug. 8, 2023. Public Policy Forum

The report closely mirrors what Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson spoke about when he was in Regina on June 28 and Kipling June 29. Thus, this is the closest version of the federal government’s playbook on the supposed “energy transition” we’ve seen to date.

On July 20, Pipeline Online had requested permission from the Public Policy Forum to publish the entire Project of the Century report, in serial form. That permission was refused, despite the Public Policy Forum’s webpage copyright notice stating at the time, “The Public Policy Forum encourages interested parties to use, in whole or in part, its publications, data, images and other content to further dialogue on public policy in Canada. We require that the PPF is properly cited and acknowledged. In all instances, the PPF would like to be notified of the use of its publications and data.”

Public Policy Forum CEO Ed Greenspon did consent to an in-depth interview with Pipeline Online on July 26, which is published here, on Aug. 8. During that interview, we asked, again, for permission, and Greenspon deferred to their communications manager.

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After requesting, again, on Aug. 8 for permission to republish the report, Public Policy Forum again refused. It promptly updated its blanket policy on their website copyright notice. As of Aug. 8, 2023, 10:30 a.m., it now states, “Copyright – The Public Policy Forum retains copyright of our publications. For permission to publish a report excerpt, please contact us at: ppforum@ppforum.ca.”

Pipeline Online replied by email, “I am greatly troubled by this. If your long-standing policy was to allow broad dissemination of your think tank’s publications – why change it now? Why change it after Pipeline Online asked about it? Are your donors aware you are now limiting publication of the reports they are financing? And perhaps it came about because a publication called Pipeline Online wished to publish them?

“Isn’t the entire purpose of a think tank to promote public discourse and debate on issues of importance?

“I believe you are doing a major disservice to the Public Policy Forum, its donors and writers, as well as the general public, by taking this path. And I think you should ask yourself why you would do such a thing?”

Indeed. And it’s with no small bit of irony that the current headline on the think tank’s website is “Far and Widening: The Rise of Polarization in Canada.”

Full disclosure: Columns by Pipeline Online editor Brian Zinchuk are occasionally published by another think tank, the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Is this, perhaps, why the Public Policy Forum refused publication?

Or is it something else?

Are there issues with the climate change and energy transition narrative that perhaps the Public Policy Forum does not want held under a harsh light? Was there a rush of other media seeking to broaden the reach of Public Policy Forum’s material that needed to be stamped out? Or was it because Pipeline Online had the temerity to highlight the full discourse of what could indeed be the largest transformation in our nation’s history – the supposed energy transition?

It is, after all, the Project of the Century, is it not?

 

 

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Project of the Century – the most comprehensive discussion of energy transition we’ve seen to date

Jonathan Wilkinson’s full Just Transition speech, verbatim