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NLR 4

Petr Cizek

  • Taking on the Tar Sands

    In his first speech to a business audience after his election in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement that Canada was an “emerging energy superpower” signaled his government’s commitment to unflinching support for the relentless expansion of Alberta’s tar sands, primarily to supply synthetic crude oil to the United States. Since then, the tar sands have been the subject of extensive national and international media reporting, even receiving attention in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, where his staff disparaged the tar sands as “dirty oil.”

  • Northern Pipe Dreams, Northern Nightmares

    For a moment in the seventies, the mystical North burst upon the Canadian consciousness, as “Justice Tom’s Flying Magic Circus” (a.k.a. the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry) wound its way across the country. In 1975, at community hearings throughout the Northwest Territories, fiery Dene activists like Frank T’Seleie from Fort Good Hope condemned Bob Blair, president of Foothills Pipelines Ltd.: “You are like the Pentagon, Mr. Blair, planning the slaughter of innocent Vietnamese. Don’t tell me you are not responsible for the destruction of my nation. You are directly responsible. You are the twentieth century General Custer. You have come to destroy the Dene Nation. You are coming with your troops to slaughter us and steal land that is rightfully ours. You are coming to destroy a people that have a history of thirty thousand years. Why? For twenty years of gas? Are you really that insane? The original General Custer was exactly that insane. You still have a chance to learn.”

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