“Support the minister without reservation.”

It was a stunning turn of phrase that sent shockwaves through the political world in Alberta this spring. 

Despite what Alberta Premier Danielle Smith had said, Alberta’s controversial moratorium on all new renewable energy projects did not come from the independent operator of the province’s electricity grid. In fact, the CEO thought it was a “very troubling” idea that would send the industry into a “tailspin.”

In short, the decision wasn’t just political. It was very political, even in the face of clear pushback.

And these troubling revelations? They only came to light thanks to relentless digging by The Narwhal’s Prairies reporter Drew Anderson. 

Here’s the thing: we need 300 new members to join this month to stay on budget. Will you be one of 300 who steps up to ensure Drew and the rest of our reporters can keep up this work?

Amid the chaos of last summer, Drew started filing freedom of information requests: 25 of them to be exact. It took months for the first files to land, and as hundreds of heavily redacted pages trickled in, it required patience to find the kernels of news buried in them. But Drew kept digging.

As his editor, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him so excited. A kid in a candy store. A dog with a bone. It takes a certain type to get excited about hundreds of pages of documents. Drew is definitely that type. 

It’s the kind of thankless, essential work that we’re able to do here at The Narwhal all because of the support of thousands of readers just like you who give whatever they can each month or each year.

Premier Smith was questioned about the documents revealed in Drew’s story. The utilities minister was grilled in the legislature. 

A collage of media clippings of stories reacting to The Narwhal's reporting on the Alberta renewables moratorium. In the bottom right, a photo cutout of reporter Drew Anderson, in a Narwhal hat, sipping tea from a mug.

Not only that, major media outlets picked up the story — CBC, CTV, Postmedia and more — and ran with it, citing The Narwhal. Once again, our small team was leading the charge on a big story.

An independent, non-profit outlet like ours simply could not punch so far above our weight without our readers’ support — readers like you.

But did you know just one per cent of our readers give what they can to help us publish investigative journalism like this? Each donor helps keep our work free for all to read.

In a place like Alberta, that’s so crucial. This is an oil-rich province staring down an energy transition with massive consequences for our whole country.

Drew’s reporting gives us all the information — the facts — we need to navigate this tricky terrain. 

Will you join the growing pod of Narwhals today so we can keep holding governments across Canada accountable for years to come?

Take care and support independent journalism without reservation,

Sharon J. Riley
Prairies bureau chief

P.S. Drew isn’t done yet. He’s still pushing for documents. And he’s sifting through the latest logs of very candid internal messages. Teaser: it’s fascinating. Will you become one of 300 new Narwhal members this month to guarantee reporters like Drew can keep digging?

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta this spring. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Here’s the thing: we need 300 new members to join this month to meet our budget. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta this spring. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Here’s the thing: we need 300 new members to join this month to meet our budget. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

In Mi’kma’ki, fighting to save the hemlock ‘grandmothers’ from a deadly pest

When Chris Googoo first visited Wapane’kati, the old-growth eastern hemlock forest at Asitu’lɨsk, it was like stepping back in time. In his imagination, he saw...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

The Narwhal’s reporters uncover energy stories that send shockwaves throughout Canada. But they can’t do it alone — we need to add 300 new members this month to meet our budget. Will you support crucial climate reporting that makes an impact?
Relentless.
Independent.
Fearless.
Relentless.
Independent.
Fearless.
The Narwhal’s reporters uncover energy stories that send shockwaves throughout Canada. But they can’t do it alone — we need to add 300 new members this month to meet our budget. Will you support crucial climate reporting that makes an impact?