Oil & Gas Legislation

Oil & Gas Legislation

We are encouraging climate-concerned citizens and, ideally, volunteer grass-roots climate groups, to contact certain individuals in the federal government about the government’s promise to cap and cut GHG emissions from oil and gas production.

The main reason to do so is to counteract the enormous pressure that the government is getting from Big Oil, and from provincial politicians who value profit over a livable world, to not proceed with fast, stringent regulation.

We suggest that, in your message, you:

  • Remind the government of its specific promises;
  • Tell them why it’s necessary to keep them;
  • Tell them not to buckle to pressure from those who want profit over a liveable world; and
  • Tell them why keeping their promises is specifically important to you.

Craft your message in your own words.  We believe that those are the messages that have the most impact.  We also believe that the individuals discussed below are those who most need to receive the message, especially because of the pressure they are now under from Big Oil and Gas.

What follows are some details that you may want to use in crafting your message.



Oil & Gas Cap Details

Justin Trudeau has promised to introduce a law, either in the form of a statute or, more likely, a regulation, that will cap and cut emissions from the production of oil and gas in Canada.

This is very important.  In 2019 (the last year before Covid), oil and gas production was the largest single source of GHG emissions in Canada, coming in at 191 megatonnes of CO2-equivalent GHGs, or 26% of Canada’s total.  That is up from 160 Mts in 2005, and 102 Mts in 1990 (1).  The Output-Based Pricing System that was designed to put a price on these emissions, and the similar provincial system that applies in Alberta, is clearly not working.

During the 2021 general election, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals promised to “[m]ake sure the oil and gas sector reduces emissions…with 5-year targets…ensuring that pollution from the oil and gas sector doesn’t go up from current levels.”  They also promised to “[s]et 2025 and 2030 milestones, to ensure…that the oil and gas sector makes a meaningful contribution to the nation’s 2030 climate goals.” (2)

In the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, released in March of 2022, the Liberal Government further promised 81 Mts of emissions cuts from oil and gas production by 2030, which is a 31% reduction from 2005 levels. (3)

In November 2022, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault promised: “We will have draft regulations […] at the latest in the first half of the year”.  He further stated, “And then the goal is to have the complete regulations by before Christmas, which is, you know, record level time to develop regulations.” (4)

The first half of the year is over and no draft regulations have been released.  Now Natural Resources Minister Jonothan Wilkinson is saying, “We’re still several months, at a minimum, from being in a position to actually outline any kind of an architecture for the cap…We still have a lot of work to do.” (5)



The Opposition

Alberta Premiere Danielle Smith has been clear and absolute in her opposition to a cap on emissions from oil and gas production.

In her election night victory speech on 30 May 2023, she stated:

“The prime minister is already ready to introduce a de facto production cap on our oil and gas sector […] as premier, I cannot under any circumstances allow these contemplated federal policies to be inflicted upon Albertans. I simply can’t and I won’t.” (6)

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Danielle Smith met in Calgary on 7 July 2023, they announced the creation of an Alberta-Ottawa “working group” that will discuss, among other issues, the oil and gas cap. (7)

This is nothing more than climate delay.  The effect of climate delay is the same as that of climate denial.

Danielle Smith’s action is the most public display of opposition, but equally damaging opposition is coming from Canadian oil and gas production companies, both individually and through their lobbying groups, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (“CAPP”) and The Pathways Alliance.  They are meeting with elected politicians, with their political staffers, and with non-partisan bureaucrats tasked with developing the promised regulations.  They have had dozens, and more probably hundreds, of meetings and contacts on this issue.  Their message is clear:  Prevent the creation of an oil and gas cap entirely if possible.  If not, delay it and water it down.

Although it is not easy to do, people can search for themselves through the federal Lobbyist Registry website to see who these people are meeting within the federal government:




So What Can Concerned Citizens Do?

We believe that the best thing concerned citizens, and especially grass-roots volunteer-run ENGOs, can do is to identify who the oil and gas companies, CAPP, and The Pathways Alliance have been meeting with and to communicate with those same individuals ourselves.

Contact them and ask for meetings.  You probably won’t get a meeting.  No problem: Note that fact, and the fact that they met with the oil and gas producers, CAPP, and the Pathways Alliance, in the letter or email you send them after that.

Create your own unique message to these individuals.  Remind them of the details of the government’s promises.  Tell them that there is no way that Canada will achieve its promise to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the “UNFCCC”), made under the 2015 Paris Convention, to reduce our emissions by 40 to 45% by 2030 unless our largest source of emissions is drastically reduced.

Feel free to cite any of the facts set out above in your message.  Add facts or experiences of your own.  For example, you might want to discuss your direct experience this summer with wildfire smoke, severe heat, or storms.  Tell these individuals why it is important that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government not delay or water down what they promised.  Tell them that climate delay has the same effect as climate denial.

Although we cannot prevent you from doing so, we would prefer that you not cite the Climate Messengers in your communications.  We believe this effort will work best if the message is unique and it comes directly from you or your group.

Government officials might read a form email or petition once, and simply note how many hundreds or thousands of people signed the same message, but they must read each and every individual message that is unique and that conveys a similar position in different ways.



Who Should I Contact?

Three of the individuals to target are easy to identify:

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada

Email: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca
Twitter: @JustinTrudeau

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A3

Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Email: Steven.Guilbeault@parl.gc.ca
Twitter: @s_guilbeault

200, boul. Sacré-Coeur
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

Email: HonJonathan.Wilkinson@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca
Alt Email: jonathan.wilkinson@parl.gc.ca
Twitter: @JonathanWNV

580 Booth Street, 21st Floor, Room: C7-1
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E4

Obviously, these individuals themselves will probably not see your communications.  However, they will receive the message that there are, hopefully, significant numbers of citizens and grass-roots groups that are following this policy and that expect them to keep their promises on the cap and cut emissions from oil and gas production.  Moreover these individuals and groups expect them to stand firm against Big Oil and Gas, as well as those provincial politicians who value profit over a liveable planet.

We believe that there are other individuals within government – both political staff and within the politically neutral bureaucracy – who are probably even more important to contact.  However, we believe that these individuals deserve a certain amount of personal privacy, and we do not want to list their personal work contact information here.  The information is publicly available  online through the federal government GEDS 2.0 website.  You can find it for yourselves, or anyone interested in contacting some of these individuals (and we hope many people are), can send us an email, explaining who you are, and telling us that you want to tell these individuals that we need a stringent oil and gas cap quickly.  We will try our best to provide you with two or three names and accompanying contact information asap.

Please feel free to contact us at info@climatemessengers.ca.


1 – Environment and Climate Change Canada, National Inventory Report 1990-2029,: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada, Part 3, p. 11, Table A10-2.

2 – Liberal Party of Canada.  Forward. For Everyone. (Liberal Party of Canada 2021 federal election campaign policy promises book). Released in Summer of 2021, p. 44.  Retrieved from https://liberal.ca/our-platform/ on 14 July 2023.

3 – Environment and Climate Change Canada.  2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy.  Released 29 March 2022. pp. 89-90. Retrieved from https://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.909338/publication.html on 18 July 2023.

4 – Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press with files from The Energy Mix, “Guilbeault Promises Fossil Emissions Cap by Late 2023”. 16 November 2022.  Retrieved on 18 July 2023 from https://www.theenergymix.com/2022/11/16/guilbeault-promises-fossil-emissions-cap-by-late-2023/ 

5 – Kelly Cryderman, “Alberta, Ottawa look to ‘reset’ relationship after heated provincial election campaign”, Globe and Mail, 20 June 2023.  Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-alberta-ottawa-look-to-reset-relationship-after-heated-provincial/ on 18 July 2023.

6Quoted from Lee Harding, “Smith’s victory speech talks tough on Trudeau, energy”, West Coast Standard, 30 May 2023.  Retrieved from https://www.westernstandard.news/alberta/smiths-victory-speech-talks-tough-on-trudeau-energy/article_f3e50c2a-fee3-11ed-8ec2-cbaac7cf8490.html on 19 July 2023.

7John Woodside, “Climate action hits a speed bump as Trudeau and Smith announce a new working group”, Canada’s National Observer, 7 July 2023.  Retrieved from https://www.nationalobserver.com/2023/07/07/news/climate-action-hits-speed-bump-trudeau-and-smith-announce-new-working-groupn on 19 July 2023.