Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd is less than impressed with actress Jane Fonda’s visit to Fort McMurray with Greenpeace.
“I think any time celebrities come up, they need to combine that with the whole picture. I used to be a teacher and I always encouraged my students to use critical thinking and look at all sides of an issue before you make a decision, so I pretty much agree with what the Premier said yesterday.”
Rachel Notley was not one to mince words regarding Fonda’s appearance in the heart of oil country. “I would suggest if someone was going to come to Alberta … (and) fly over a city that is going through a significant economic downturn, that’s just been through the largest natural disaster in the history of Canada, and then lecture them about where they should get jobs elsewhere, first of all, that’s super tone deaf,” the Premier stated in a news conference.
“But secondly, I would suggest that dining out on your celebrity is something that one ought to also pair with knowledge and research. She failed to do that.”
Minister McCuaig-Boyd largely echoed those remarks in her own “I think her choice of coming up to Fort McMurray was a bit disrespectful considering everything they’ve been through and everything our province has been through in the last while. That shows a bit of a lack of thinking maybe.”
She adds that she believes Alberta does a great job on the environment “I’ve always said we don’t have to compromise our environment for our resource development. I’m disappointed she didn’t want to learn more.”
McCuaig-Boyd is referring to an offer from the provincial government to sit down with Fonda and her colleagues to explain their environmental policy in detail.
“I think she’s dismissing, or isn’t aware of a lot of the good work that’s going on, particularly here in Alberta. We have really good environmental standards here already. We have a world class industry. I think there’s a bit of a perception issue she and others might have that isn’t true. It’s disappointing that she and others that come don’t avail themselves of an opportunity to learn what our industry is about and see all the good things that are going on in Alberta and indeed Canada. Such a shame that she doesn’t seem to know about our Climate Leadership Plan and the good work going on between our provinces out west, the good news yesterday Premier (Christie) Clarke about the conditions that doesn’t seem to be on the radar of what she knows.”
Fonda visited Fort McMurray on Tuesday to meet with Indigneous leaders and environmentalists. She was part of a media panel with activists and aboriginal leaders that fielded questions from reporters as well. “We’re not here to trash Alberta, to trash Fort McMurray or the men and women who work in the tar sands, that’s not our purpose,” she said at the panel. “We are at a moment in human history that is absolutely unique, this has never happened before.”