Edmonton

Jane Fonda joins list of activist celebs to tour the oilsands

Jane Fonda is in Fort McMurray, Alta., today to meet with Indigenous leaders and get an aerial tour of the oilsands. The Oscar-winning actress and fitness guru joins a growing list of activist celebrities who've felt compelled to see the industrial development for themselves.

Oscar winner to speak at Greenpeace press conference in Edmonton

Jane Fonda is visiting Alberta over the next two days to voice her concern about development in the oilsands and climate change. (Jordan Strauss/Associated Press)

Jane Fonda, an Oscar-winning actress, fitness guru and activist, will be in Fort McMurray, Alta., today to meet with Indigenous leaders and get an aerial tour of the oilsands.

Fonda has been an outspoken critic of the energy industry and tomorrow, the 79-year-old will be joined by First Nations chiefs in Edmonton for a press conference organized by Greenpeace.

Fonda has a history of environmental activism. In June 2015, she protested Arctic drilling and oil tanker traffic in Vancouver. (Darry Dyck/Canadian Press)

Fonda is just the latest high-profile visitor to flock to northern Alberta to see the oilsands up close and express concern about the environmental impact.

Here's a list of the stars who've made the oilsands a must-see destination for celebrity activists.

Leonardo DiCaprio (2014)

Leonard DiCaprio visits Fort Chipewyan

5 years ago
Duration 0:44
Leonard DiCaprio visits Fort Chipewyan

Leonardo DiCaprio has a long record of environmental activism, but when he toured northern Alberta in 2014, his visit was low key.

He visited Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan, where he met with residents and participated in an ice bucket challenge for ALS and challenged Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The oilsands was featured in Before the Flood, DiCaprio's documentary on climate change that was released in 2016.

Desmond Tutu (2014)

Desmond Tutu speaks about filth and greed

5 years ago
Duration 0:28
Desmond Tutu speaks about filth and greed

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrived in Fort McMurray on May 29, 2014, to speak at a conference focused on the oilsands and treaty rights. Tutu, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, had an aerial tour of the area and met with Indigenous leaders from Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

At a press conference, he called the oilsands "filth" and said it was stripping away the rights of First Nations.

Neil Young (2013)

Rocker Neil Young compares the oilsands to Hiroshima

5 years ago
Duration 0:44
Rocker Neil Young compares the oilsands to Hiroshima

Of all the celebrities who have taken a stance against the oilsands, Neil Young has been the most outspoken.

In 2013, he and actress Daryl Hannah visited Fort McMurray as part of a documentary on alternative fuels. He later told a crowd at a National Farmers Union event in Washington, D.C., that the area was a wasteland and compared it to bomb-ravaged Hiroshima.

In 2014, Young played four concerts as part of his Honour the Treaties Tour. The money raised went to support the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation's legal fight against the expansion of an oilsands project.

James Cameron (2010)

Oilsands could be a curse, James Cameron says

5 years ago
Duration 0:35
Oilsands could be a curse, James Cameron says

One year after his science fiction epic Avatar broke international box office records, Canadian director and Hollywood heavyweight James Cameron touched down in Alberta for a widely publicized visit. In Fort McMurray, he was joined by Alberta's environment minister and a vice-president of energy company Cenovus for an aerial tour of the oilsands.

He met with local Indigenous leaders before flying to Edmonton for meetings with Premier Ed Stelmach and Rachel Notley, Alberta's current premier who at the time was the NDP's environment critic.

At a press conference wrapping up his tour, Cameron spoke about the need to curtail development and introduce more regulations.

Neve Campbell  (2008)

Neve Campbell, Canadian queen of the Scream horror movie franchise, spent two days touring the oilsands in October 2008. She met with members of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and in a release said she was "horrified" by the scale of industrial development.

When Neve Campbell visited Fort McMurray and the oilsands, she said she was working with the group Forest Ethics and First Nations to raise awareness. (Richard Shotwell/Associated Press)

While recent visits by celebrities have been about raising concern over the oilsands, the development does have some high-profile supporters.

Kellyanne Conway, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's campaign manager and counsellor, was scheduled to visit the oilsands and speak to business leaders in Calgary this week, but had to cancel with inauguration day fast approaching.

Before that, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham visited in 2010, and again in 2015.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is all for Alberta oil

5 years ago
Duration 0:11
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is all for Alberta oil

now