Commentary: CEC campaigns highlight the importance of Canadian energy at home and abroad

Marketing campaigns reaching audiences in the United States, Europe and Canada will talk about the need for Canadian oil and gas

By Tom Olsen

What do more than 1.2 million Americans have in common?

They’ve all visited the Canadian Energy Centre’s campaign website,, which promotes Canada as the answer to energy woes in the US.

It’s an exciting time at the CEC.

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving fully into marketing territory, a key objective that had been envisioned when we launched nearly three years ago.

Three wide-reaching campaigns are underway or poised to launch.

As of this writing, we have a Look North campaign that speaks directly to U.S. citizens about the importance of energy security. They want an energy source that is environmentally responsible, respects workers, promotes Indigenous opportunity and can help reduce global GHGs. The solution is Canadian natural gas and oil that comes from a friend an ally, right next door.

The response has been huge.

Recent public opinion polling, commissioned by the CEC, shows a vast majority of Americans, from Alaska to Florida, California to New York, favour oil and gas from Canada to supplement what can be produced domestically. How many? Three out of four Americans agree that Canada should fill that critical role while fewer than one in ten are opposed.

Americans know who their friends are and who they trust to help keep the lights on in a time of global turmoil.

We also just launched a cross-Canada campaign.

You may have seen some of our ads on national news channels or during the Stanley Cup Playoffs – more than 13 million Canadians already have.

This campaign supports our mandate to promote Canadian energy as the preferred choice to meet the growing demand for responsibly produced energy – both in Canada and around the world. It comes at a time when Canadians are thinking more and more about the need for energy security and increasing our supply at home.

The campaign is built on the value Canadians place in ensuring any product they consume or purchase – whether that be coffee, diamonds, cosmetics, clothing – is sourced by countries meeting the highest environmental, human rights and labour standards.

Oil and gas shouldn’t be any different, and our campaign points out the tremendous upside to Canada as a supplier to the world.

Renewables are a vital part of the energy mix and the technology will continue to improve and evolve.

The International Energy Agency says oil and natural gas will still make up more than 50 per cent of the global energy mix in 2050, with renewables making up 26 per cent.

And global oil and gas demand will stay strong for decades, particularly in emerging economies in Asia that rely on coal to power their growth. Meanwhile, Europe is eager to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas to keep energy prices in check and ensure a safe, secure supply of the resources they need.

Instead of devolving that responsibility to regimes with questionable environmental and human rights records, or to those who use their resources as leverage for geopolitical advantage, Canada should step up.

That’s a theme that will be showcased in a targeted campaign into Germany later this month, aimed at the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada) during the annual G7 meeting outside Munich.

Canada can help with European energy shortages and keep Europeans from being held hostage to weaponized energy – but we need the national political will here at home.

Country of origin labels show how Canada stacks up against other energy producing nations in key metrics.

We’ve witnessed a global shift over the last year when it comes to how the world’s global energy mix is viewed.

Some countries were left scrambling when the unpredictable nature of wind and sun failed to meet expectations.

Even those with among the most stalwart environmental policies were forced to consider reopening mothballed coal-fired power plants to ensure the stability of their grids.

Reliable energy is critical to a functioning society.

And where that energy comes from has never been more important. That’s why the CEC is talking about the importance of Canadian energy in the United States. In Europe. And, of course, in Canada.

Tom Olsen is chief executive officer of the Canadian Energy Centre.

The unaltered reproduction of this content is free of charge with attribution to Canadian Energy Centre Ltd.