Even within the standards of post-politics careers for politicians, moving from environment minister to coal industry spokesperson is impressively cynical. So cheers to former Alberta environment minister Robin Campbell for saying "screw the optics, brother needs to get paid" and accepting the position of president of the Coal Association of Canada.
Campbell was the Progressive Conservatives' environment minister from December 2013 to September 2014 and was booted out of office with the majority of the PCs in May's electoral bloodbath.He was also former premier Jim Prentice's finance minister from September 2014 onwards, so he knows a thing or two about money (hence his new job, obviously).
Campbell is taking over a Coal Association that is in the midst of industrial turmoil as governments have slowly began turning towards power generation that won't increase carbon emissions fuelling climate change and the end of the world as we know it.
"Mr. Campbell understands the issues and challenges facing the coal industry and is well positioned to be an effective voice in promoting the value of the industry in Alberta and across Canada," John Schadan, the chairman of the Coal Association of Canada, said in a statement.
According to the Calgary Herald, Alberta's conflict of interest rules prohibit him from lobbying for 12 months after being in cabinet, meaning he can't really start his new job in earnest until next May.
As noted byPress Progress,Campbell was slammed by Alberta's auditor general for failing to report on the province's plan to reduce greenhouse gases during his time as environment minister.
Campbell did promise new a new energy efficiency plan while in office but that never came about, allowing the NDP to promise their own plan.
Last week, Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley said she was targeting coal in her efforts to lower the province's emissions.
"Coal is a high-carbon fuel that we currently depend on for more than half of our electricity in Alberta," Notley said in a Toronto speech. "In its place, we must encourage lower carbon natural gas and zero-carbon renewables."
Anyways, congratulations to Robin Campbell on your new job and lowering the bar for future unemployed politicians!
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