Oil and gas industry drops out of Whistler investor conference over mayor’s climate change letter

Oil and gas industry drops out of Whistler investor conference over mayor’s climate change letter

The fallout from the mayor of Whistler’s request for an Alberta energy giant to pay for climate change expenses could now affect the resort municipality’s bottom line.

CIBC has confirmed it has removed the oil and gas portion from the agenda of its annual Whistler Institutional Investor Conference, which is set to kick off in January.

The news comes after Global News confirmed at least one energy company, PrairieSky, had pulled out, specifically citing the request, which analysts in Alberta said had sparked outrage and “sadness” throughout the industry.

The industry’s shunning of the conference, which will be celebrating its 22nd year, is further evidence that Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton’s letter to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) has struck a nerve.

In the letter dated Nov. 15, Crompton asked the company to cover the costs being paid by taxpayers to deal with flooding, drought and extreme weather, which the mayor argues are being caused directly by CNRL’s operations.

Crompton released both written and video statements saying he didn’t mean to offend anyone or make any companies or industries feel unwelcome in Whistler. He also acknowledged Etam’s argument that Whistler’s residents and tourists also contribute to fossil fuel emissions.

“Our goal was not to ignore our own role in climate change but to encourage change and action on climate change,” the mayor said.

“We strongly believe that all levels of government, industries and individuals bear responsibility for solving and the costs of climate change impacts.”

On Friday, a spokesperson for CNRL shared the letter it sent back to Crompton and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, which calls on the local government to join other municipalities in “supporting market access for Canada’s responsibly developed natural resources and share the facts with others.”

“We know that we still have more that we can do, and by working together, we are confident that the actions we take now can accelerate positive change,” the letter continues.

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