Neil Young's anti-oilsands tour draws fierce reaction in Calgary

Neil Young will be in the heart of Alberta oil country in less than one week and already some Calgarians are turning to Twitter to call out the Canadian artist they say is a hypocrite.

Honour the Treaties tour arrives in Calgary next Sunday in support of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Neil Young will be in the heart of Alberta oil country in less than one week and already some Calgarians are turning to Twitter to call out the Canadian artist they say is a hypocrite. 2:09

Neil Young will be in the heart of Alberta oil country in less than one week and already some Calgarians are turning to Twitter to call out the Canadian artist they say is a hypocrite.

Young kicked off his Honour the Treaties tour in Toronto yesterday. The tour is in support of the Athabascan Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and their fight against the expansion of Shell Canada's Jackpine mine, which recently received federal approval despite Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq's view that it is "likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects."

Many pro-oilsands Albertans criticized Young on Monday for speaking out against the industry when they say he would be consuming fuel himself during the course of the tour.

Singer Neil Young, right, during a press conference for the Honour the Treaties tour that is looking to raise money for legal fight against the expansion of the Athabasca oilsands in northern Alberta. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

Young issued a statement Monday at noon in response to those critics.

"I drove my electric car from California to the tarsands and on to Washington, D.C., without using any oil at all," he said. "My car's generator runs on biomass, one of several future fuels Canada should be developing for the post-fossil fuel age. This age of renewable fuels could save our grandchildren from the ravages of climate-related disasters spawned by the fossil fuel age — but we have to get started."

The ACFN has said expansion of the Jackpine mine will violate several laws covering fisheries and species at risk, as well as their treaty rights, and is launching a legal challenge against Ottawa's decision to allow Shell to expand the mine.

The Jackpine expansion would allow Shell to increase its bitumen output by 50 per cent to 300,000 barrels a day.

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