‘I think it’s shameless’

In this week’s newsletter, we bring you an update on our membership drive — and how our investigations on the oil and gas industry are drawing attention from lobbyists and MPs alike
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Before getting into our goings-on in Narlandia, I’d love to share a membership update with you all. So far, 133 readers have stepped up to join — which means we’re nearly halfway toward our push to add 300 new members in June. Here’s what some of our newest Narwhals have to say:

“I understand the need for independent, ethical journalism in times like ours when fiction persuades more people than fact.”

“With traditional print media and investigative journalism on the wane we need The Narwhal to keep poking and prodding so that we can all stay informed.”

“Your investigative journalism is exactly what this country needs.”

We still need to add 167 members this month to make our budget work. Will you help us get there?

Now, an update on our recent poking and prodding, as promised:

Pathways Alliance president Kendall Dilling, in a grey suit, speaks while sitting in a chair flanked by two other people on a stage.


That’s what Bloc Québécois MP Monique Pauzé said of the details revealed in an investigation into oil and gas lobbying by The Narwhal’s Carl Meyer. 

And those revelations that were so jarring?

Pathways Alliance, a coalition of six fossil fuel giants, lobbied the government to fast-track a major carbon capture and storage project — seeking assurance that it wouldn’t require a federal impact assessment. The alliance also asked for massive public subsidies, according to internal documents Carl got his hands on.

“This request is shocking to me when there’s a climate crisis, and I think it’s shameless,” Pauzé said as she and a host of MPs grilled oil and gas executives on their plans to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. 

“In order to make such a demand, the alliance must have an unwavering and unshakeable confidence and certainty that the industry has a stronghold over the political system.”

There’s more to the story: the feds signed a non-disclosure agreement with the alliance a few months after the group’s request materialized.

Carl, who just won the Canadian Journalists’ Association award for reporting on Canada’s oil and gas lobby, told me he was thrilled to see his hard work having an impact on the political stage.

Carl Meyer poses for a photo with golden light on trees and bushes behind
Inside the Canadian oilsands lobby’s request to fast-track a major project

“It was hugely validating as a long term Parliament Hill reporter. My work has been referenced in Parliament before, but this felt different: an MP specifically taking time to say my name, my outlet, describing the story and weighing in on its importance.”

As The Narwhal’s climate investigations reporter, Carl is able to spend months in back-and-forth battles for documents — thanks to more than 6,000 readers who regularly donate what they can. The recurring monthly or annual contributions from our members means we can support star journalists like Carl who uncover the kinds of environment and climate stories you won’t find anywhere else.

And as The Narwhal grows its reach and impact, both industry lobbyists and MPs are taking notice. 

Take care and keep drilling for the truth, 

Karan Saxena
Audience engagement editor 

P.S. Did you know donating to The Narwhal doesn’t just mean you’re helping us? Our non-profit organization is able to issue charitable receipts! Help us meet our budget by becoming one of 300 new members this June.
🤍 Become a member
Fatima Syed, Denise Balkissoon, Michelle Cyca and Emma McIntosh pose for a group shot, holding award certificate envelopes.

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We nabbed 6 Digital Publishing Awards!

Did you know you’re reading an award-winning newsletter — about award-winning journalism?!

The Narwhal added to a wheelbarrow of trophies last week at the 2024 Digital Publishing Awards: Nourish, a series on First Nations food sovereignty, won gold in best editorial package, reporter Emma McIntosh’s reporting in collaboration with the Toronto Star took home gold in best news coverage, and Emma’s explainer on Ontario’s highways also snagged gold for best service feature! In the best photojournalism category, we won both gold and a silver: for Amber Bracken’s work on a feature detailing a tailings ponds leak in northern Alberta, and Jesse Winter’s photo essay from the frontlines of B.C.’s wildfires.

And this newsletter? Our audience team also took home gold — you should forward it to your friends and tell them to sign up, so they know you have good taste. 🤩

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This week in The Narwhal

A man in high visibility blue coveralls and an orange hard hat walks along orange survey markers as he examines Imperial Oil's Winnipeg Products Pipeline in southern Manitoba
The government didn’t formally inspect a crucial pipeline for years. Then came the safety concerns
By Julia-Simone Rutgers
Documents show that though inspectors visited Winnipeg’s main fuel line a handful of times, there were no formal reports. Experts are concerned about transparency — and environmental risks.

Headshot of Ingrid Waldron on a dark background. There are yellow flowers in the foreground.
Canada just pledged to tackle environmental racism. What does that mean?
By Denise Balkissoon
A hand holds a black turtle with orange spots over a marshy area
Operation spotted turtle: how Ontario biologists fight wildlife traffickers
By Celia Milne
A person fills a water jug from a City of Calgary truck labelled "Emergency Water Supply"
Future in drought: how long can Calgarians go without a shower?
By Drew Anderson
A spotted owl in mid flight on a forested backdrop
Environment Minister Guilbeault broke the law in stalling potential spotted owl emergency order: court
By Ainslie Cruickshank
Three large, circular salmon farm pens fill a coastal inlet. They are surrounding by boats and floating infrastructure.
Are B.C.’s open-net pen salmon farms closing — or not?
By Shalu Mehta

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What we’re reading

In Europe, the far-right is making big gains — calling the shots on environmental policy. The echoes are felt in North America, Arno Kopecky writes in The Walrus. 

Does the recycling symbol mean anything anymore? Grist’s Kate Yoder chronicles how corporations sold Americans on the chasing arrows — while stripping the logo of its worth.
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Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
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