SUBHEAD: Canada's Stephen Harper is George Bush without the foreign wars - just the war on Canada itself.
Image above: Opening illustration from "What is Harper Afraid Of?" series by Franke James. From (http://www.frankejames.com/debate/?p=11818).
[Note by source Katie Gelfling: Here is a political comic/visual animated essay by Franke James about the tar sands, First Nations tribes, the loosening of environmental regulations, and Prime Minister Harper. Be sure to visit her site (http://www.frankejames.com/debate/?p=11818). There have been a lot of pro-tar sands ads in movie theaters and television, so I think it's important to try to understand what is not being said. The real controversy of lowering environmental standards and their potential impact is being hidden so that the public won't notice that the costs are being externalized by the oil companies onto them. I know only a little about the tar sands, so this opened my eyes about some of the issues up in Canada. I hope more folks in Canada wake up and it makes a difference. Stephen Harper is basically George Bush without the wars, and like the US, Canada has a large rural population whose livelihoods depend on resource extraction.] By Franke James on 3 March 2012 for FrankeJames.com - (www.frankejames.com/debate/?p=11818)
Video above: Animated video of "What is Harper Afraid Of?" by Franke James. From (http://vimeo.com/43432620).
Below is a sample of a letter you can send to Prime Minister Harper.
The May 2011 report states that contamination of the Athabasca River is a "high profile concern". It cited recent studies which suggest that "elevated levels of pollutants near mining sites including hydrocarbons and heavy metals raises questions about possible effects on health of wildlife and downstream communities." The government report also said that current data cannot generate a "big picture" view of impacts on the ecosystem. And that "oil sands development will continue to put pressure on vulnerable species."
Surprisingly, Minister Joe Oliver -- the man who has travelled across Canada pitching the need to speed up Environmental Reviews -- said he'd never seen the secret government report and didn't know whether the fish from the Athabasca River were safe to eat. (When pressed, he admitted that he had heard about deformed and contaminated fish in the news.) See: http://www.frankejames.com/debate/?p=11818
Why is the government looking the other way? Is this 'environmental racism' as the First Nations contend?
Does this mean that poisoning downstream communities and wildlife, is just the "cost of doing business" in Canada?
The government and the oil industry need to be held accountable for the pollution from oil sands mining. Canadian taxpayers and oil sands investors are at risk of class action lawsuits if we look the other way.
Canada's environmental international standing will be dragged further through the proverbial mud as the federal government invites the oil industry to treat the natural environment in a manner similar to standards applied in developing nations to foster economic growth.
Tell the oil industry and the Harper Government that doing business in Canada must include protecting our air, land, water, wildlife and people from oil pollution.
Please stand up for Canada. Say no to irresponsible resource development. Keep our country beautiful from sea to shining sea.