By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Neil Young blasts Harper government for allowing development of Alberta oilsands
Neil Young is accusing the Canadian government of “trading integrity for money” when it comes to Alberta’s oilsands.
Speaking at a news conference Sunday, the rock legend suggested the Canadian government is “killing” First Nations people by pushing forward with rapid development of the oilsands.
“The blood of these people will be on modern Canada’s hands,” he said.
Young was speaking in Toronto ahead of the first of four benefit concerts aimed at raising money and awareness for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s legal fight against Shell Canada’s Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan.
The federal government approved the project last month despite a review panel’s conclusion that the project would result in severe and irreversible environmental damage.
Shell has said it will double its bitumen production in the region to 300,000 barrels a day and the project will create 750 jobs.
Young, who said he recently visited one of the oilsands sites, was joined at his press conference by a panel of anti-oilsands activists. The panel was moderated by environmentalist David Suzuki.
The “Honour the Treaties” concert will take place Toronto’s Massey Hall Sunday night, and moves to Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary later this week.
“I want my grandchildren to grow up and look up and see a blue sky,” Young said, noting he instead only sees a government “out of control.”
“Money is number one, integrity isn’t even on the map,” he said.
Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, countered that “projects are approved only when they are deemed safe for Canadians and (the) environment.” He added that the resource sector creates “economic opportunities” and “high-wage jobs” for thousands of Canadians. (Source: CTV News)