Thursday 18 January 2018

Actress Jane not so Fonda Canada's Trudeau after oil deals

Jane Fonda speaks at a press conference for indigenous rights in Edmonton Alta during her trip (The Canadian Press/AP)
Jane Fonda speaks at a press conference for indigenous rights in Edmonton Alta during her trip (The Canadian Press/AP)
Jane Fonda says Canada's PM Justin Trudeau has disappointed her over Alberta oil pipeline deals

Jane Fonda has said people should not be fooled by "good-looking liberals" like Justin Trudeau, after the Canadian prime minister "disappointed" her by approving pipelines from the Alberta oil sands.

After touring the oil sands area, the Hollywood star and political activist said environmentalists everywhere had been impressed by Mr Trudeau at the Paris climate conference in late 2015.

"We all thought, 'Well, cool guy'," Fonda, 79, said, before adding: "What a disappointment."

"He talked so beautifully of needing to meet the requirements of the climate treaty and to respect and hold to the treaties with indigenous people," she said.

"Such a heroic stance he took there and yet he has betrayed every one of the things he committed to in Paris."

Fonda, on a trip organised by Greenpeace, is calling for a stop to pipelines and oil sands development.

"I guess the lesson is we shouldn't be fooled by good-looking liberals no matter how well-spoken they are," she said.

Last year Mr Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan's plans to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific Coast, as well as replacing Enbridge's Line 3 to Wisconsin.

But he also pushed ahead with a national carbon price and rejected Enbridge's Northern Gateway project to north-west British Columbia, which would pass through the Great Bear Rainforest.

Mr Trudeau's Liberal Party government is trying to balance the oil industry's desire to tap new markets in Asia against the concerns of environmentalists.

Fonda, a two-time Oscar winner for best actress, is the latest celebrity to visit and express concerns about the Alberta oil sands.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Hollywood film director James Cameron have also visited.

But Alberta premier Rachel Notley said Fonda was using her celebrity to promote ill-informed information.

She said Fonda should not lecture oil workers about getting jobs elsewhere and added that it was "tone deaf" for her to visit Fort McMurray, Alberta, so soon after devastating wildfires that destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings.

Ms Notley, who leads the left-leaning New Democratic Party, added that Alberta had a plan that made the province a climate leader in North America.

"Dining out on your celebrity is something that someone ought to pair with knowledge and research and she failed to do that," she said of Fonda.

"She didn't know what she was talking about. It's not helpful."

Alexandre Deslongchamps, a spokesman for Canada's natural resource minister, said: "Our government believes that the environment and the economy go hand in hand.

"The oil sands are an important source of jobs and economic prosperity for Canadians.

"We believe we can only develop our natural resources when we can do so sustainably.

"That's why we are putting a price on carbon pollution, strengthening environmental and safety standards and making real investments in clean technology."

Alberta, which has the world's third largest oil reserves, needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil production.

Approving Trans Mountain helps diversify Canada's oil exports, with 97% of them now going to the US.


Press Association

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