When actress and activist Jane Fonda flew from Hollywood to Alberta to condemn the oil sands, Robbie Picard was there to meet her.
Picard is a Metis man, a Fort McMurray resident (he lost his home in last year's massive wildfire) and a long-time oil sands industry booster.
He was on hand when Fonda touched down in Alberta, and asked her pointed questions about her opposition to an industry that is not only as environmentally responsible as possible, but also provides high paying jobs to many First Nations people.
On this video, along with Picard's pointed questions, Fonda can be heard making a cryptic comment about her first impressions of the oil sands:
"It's like someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface. It made my body ache to watch it."
The CBC reports:
Pro-oilsands activists say this is not the time for celebrity actor Jane Fonda to visit Fort McMurray to criticize energy development, with the region still recovering from wildfire and a limp economy.
"I think that it's another hypocritical celebrity coming here," declared Robbie Picard, founder of the local industry booster group OilSands Strong. "She's kicking us while we are down."
Greenpeace Canada, which is holding an event at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Wednesday night where Fonda is one of several speakers, said the actress and fitness video frontwoman is expected be in Fort McMurray Tuesday. She will tour the oilsands by air and meet with several Indigenous leaders. (...)
OilSands Strong has launched a social media campaign opposing Fonda's visit, to bolster the argument that it comes at "horrible timing" and is "shameful," Picard said.
Even the CBC reminded readers that Fonda's activism is not always popular or welcome:
She was nicknamed "Hanoi Jane" after her friendly visits to America's enemies during the Vietnam War were used by the Communists to undermine morale, in both the U.S., and in the prisoner of war camps where American G.I.s were being held and tortured.