On oil sands, ignore Jane Fonda’s foolery, listen to Trudeau’s truth – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2017)


If you ever want an Albertan mad at you, mention something about the oil sands they don’t like. Last week, many in the province were setting their hair on fire over a visit by movie-star activist Jane Fonda and later comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Alberta’s energy future.

I get the animus Ms. Fonda’s visit incited. Albertans are tired of jet-setting do-gooders flying in from their L.A. manses, or whichever homes in whichever countries they might be coming from, to do passovers of the oil sands and proclaim how awful it all is.

Before Ms. Fonda, it was the actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Before Mr. DiCaprio, it was the singer Neil Young. Before Mr. Young, it was the director James Cameron. The script is always the same: Meet with environmental activists and First Nations leaders and decry the violation of the Earth they have witnessed.

“It’s like someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a large surface,” Ms. Fonda told reporters, describing the sight she took in. “It made my body ache to watch it.”

The oil sands make an easy target. The aerial shots are ugly. In a perfect world, they wouldn’t exist; it would all be boreal forest. Flyovers would be organized to see marauding herds of caribou instead of eerie images of molasses-like pits of bitumen.

For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/on-oil-sands-ignore-jane-fondas-foolery-listen-to-trudeaus-truth/article33650263/