Don't be fooled by 'good-looking Liberals:' Fonda on Trudeau's climate action - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
4.5°C

Don't be fooled by 'good-looking Liberals:' Fonda on Trudeau's climate action

Jane Fonda speaks during a press conference along with indigenous leaders in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
January 12, 2017 - 7:00 AM

EDMONTON - As far as Jane Fonda is concerned, there's only one lesson to be drawn from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent approval of two oilsands pipeline projects.

"The lesson is we shouldn't be fooled by good-looking Liberals," the Hollywood icon said Wednesday in Edmonton, where she appeared to support indigenous leaders in their concerns over fossil fuel development.

Fonda — as well as chiefs from Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia — said environmentalists everywhere were impressed by Trudeau's appearance at international climate talks held in Paris in late 2015.

"We all thought, well, cool guy," she said. "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. Such a heroic stance he took there, and yet he has betrayed every one of the things he committed to in Paris."

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said he felt the same letdown.

"He talked about the need to listen to indigenous people. I believed him."

Last year, Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan's plans to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain line between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., and also gave the nod to replacing Enbridge's Line 3 between Edmonton and Superior, Wis. But he pushed ahead with a national carbon price and rejected Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

The compromise did not please Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

"I share the bitter disappointment," he said.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation downstream of the oilsands, said his band has been trying for years to get action on its concerns. His people want a comprehensive health study done, as well as movement on environmental recommendations on already-approved mines.

"We haven't gotten any further than when I first started," he said. "In fact, we've gone further backward."

Trudeau failed to restructure the National Energy Board or environmental assessment hearings into major resource projects, said Phillip.

He promised indigenous people will turn to the courts to try to block any more fossil fuel development, including the Teck Frontier mine, a new oilsands project being reviewed that would produce about 260,000 barrels of bitumen a day.

Some went so far as to lump Trudeau in with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.

"When Prime Minister Trudeau says he looks forward to working with Trump on yet another tar sands expansion pipeline, Keystone XL, that tells you everything you need to know about Trudeau’s commitment to respecting indigenous rights," Phillips said.

"There's going to be more poor people if the likes of your prime minister and our president-elect have their way — a lot of poor, sick people," added Fonda.

Fonda is the latest prominent person to have visited and expressed concerns about the oilsands. The list includes fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Hollywood film director James Cameron, musician Neil Young and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Each visit has provoked a backlash on social media and from some political leaders. Fonda said celebrity remains a valuable tool to amplify the voices of those who have a hard time getting heard.

She took an aerial tour of the oilsands on Tuesday. Provincial officials were expecting a chance to brief her Wednesday on Alberta's climate plan, which includes a price on carbon and phasing out coal power, but an Energy Department spokesman said the meeting didn't take place.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had Derek Nepinak's last name spelled incorrectly.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • UPDATE: Missing Vernon woman found
    UPDATE: 9:26 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 VERNON - RCMP says a missing 39-year-old Vernon woman reported missing yesterday, Jan. 19, has been located and she is safe and sound. All p
  • Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here are some details on how
    WASHINGTON - In one of several testy exchanges during a U.S. Senate hearing this week, the country's secretary of homeland security was pressed to explain a new policy that allows customs agen
  • UPDATE: High profile Vernon homeless camp dismantled
    "THERE'S NOWHERE IN VERNON WE'RE ALLOWED TO CAMP" VERNON - Several homeless people in a makeshift camp near a busy highway intersection are going to have to find somewher
  • UPDATE: More snow on the way for Coquihalla Highway
    After a dump of snow on the Coquihalla Highway overnight, the heavy snowfall is expected to resume tonight. Drivers heading to and from the Lower Mainland will get a break today, Jan. 20, wi
  • Vernon RCMP looking for missing young woman
    VERNON - Police in the North Okanagan are asking for the public's help in finding a missing woman. Suzie Clark, 20, was last seen yesterday, Jan. 18. Vernon North Okanagan RCMP spokesper
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile