Stinging criticism of oil sands
Neil Young, world-famous rock singer
Neil Young raising money for court case
Published January 14, 2014
Famous Rock Musician Goes Environmental
Canadian rock singer Neil Young went after the Stephen Harper government this week over what the oil sands are doing to Aboriginal lands in Alberta.
Young accused Harper of violating a century-old treaty with First Nations people in Alberta and plundering their lands and natural resources.
The 68-year old popular star who has been singing publicly for half a century has never hidden his support for indigenous people , especially those fighting against the governments who would despoil them of their land rights.
At a press conference in Toronto last Sunday night Young surprised the news media by saying that he had driven up in his electric car to the Fort McMurray oil sands and found a horrible scene.
Fort McMurray area reminded him of the devastation in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb in 1945, which happens to be the year Young was born.
He said that as a Canadian, he was "embarrassed" by what the Canadian government had allowed to happen in Fort McMurray. Young said that the Harper government had cashed in its integrity against the almighty dollar."
To help Athabasca Chipewyan pay lawyers' fees in their court fight against Harper, Young announced that he would be giving a series of four concerts, including the fourth on Sunday in Calgary, with proceeds going directly to the court fight of the First Nations people.
Harper’s staff, cabinet ministers and Conservative Party supporters were furious that a popular musician had the nerve to get involved in federal politics like that. They went on national television to denounce him.
They reminded Young that even "rock stars" need oil and gasoline for their cars and First Nations people need oil sands jobs.
Young replied that he uses an electronic car and had driven all the way from California to Fort McMurray and then on to Toronto in his environmental car.
«The generator of my car runs on biomass, one of many fuels of the future that Canada should develop for the post- oil era, » Young replied.
Young’s attack on Harper and the oil sands went around the world on television and on the Internet, something which Harper and his Conservatives supporters probably didn’t appreciate.