‘We felt we needed to stand up’: Flames give an assist to pro-energy movement

Alberta’s beleaguered oil and gas sector got an assist from the Calgary Flames during Wednesday night’s game against the visiting Colorado Avalanche, thanks to two notable additions to the Scotiabank Saddledome ice surface.

The words “I (heart) Oil & Gas” were painted in two of the rink’s four corners, one at each end of the ice, in a show of support for the energy industry. It was the first time those words appeared in those spaces, normally reserved for on-ice advertisements.

The familiar campaign slogan appears on banners, stickers and clothing of Canada Action, a group that describes itself as a “volunteer-created grassroots movement” that supports the natural resources sector.

Canada Action founder Cody Battershill said the Flames reached out “a couple weeks ago,” offering to donate the on-ice advertising spaces to the group.

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“It’s a new thing and they’ve generously decided to support us and to support our cause,” Battershill said.
“When you look at the companies and the people that are in that Saddledome and what really supports the community in Calgary, you look cheap nhl jerseys
at all the investment into charitable organizations, community causes, schools and hospitals that come from the energy sector and I think it’s just fantastic for the Flames to be supportive publicly and to be proud.”

Calgary Flames president and chief operating officer John Bean said the team connected with Canada Action in recent weeks and “tried to brainstorm some ways that we might be able to lend some support to them.”

“What they’re messaging is something that we really believe in,” Bean said.

“The Canadian oil and gas industry is an important part of the Canadian economy and we’re really good at it. We lead from an environmental and technical point of view . . . and Canada’s got a lot to offer in that regard.

“It just seems like the sector is under attack and so we felt we needed to stand up and help raise some awareness.”

Multiple co-owners of the Flames, including Murray Edwards, Alvin Libin and Allan Markin, have business interests in oil and gas and other significant ties to Alberta’s energy sector. Edwards, the team’s chairman, is also owner and executive chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

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