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Revealed: Canadian government spent millions on secret tar sands advocacy

 The Syncrude tar sands site near Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta. Photograph: David Levene/David Levene

The Syncrude tar sands site near Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta. Photograph: David Levene/David Levene

Conservative government used public money on outreach campaign to counter criticism of controversial Alberta tar sands.

Canada’s Conservative government spent several million dollars on a tar sands advocacy fund as its push to export the oil faltered, documents reveal.

In its 2013 budget, the government invested $30 million over two years on public relations advertising and domestic and international “outreach activities” to promote Alberta’s tar sands.

The outreach activities, which cost $4.5 million and were never publicly disclosed, included efforts to “advance energy literacy amongst BC First Nations communities.”

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