Neil Young has launched a blistering attack on Canada’s federal government and Alberta’s oilsands development, accusing officials of “killing” First Nations through their exploitation of the Alberta tar sands.
Young made the accusation at a press conference ahead of his Massey Hall show on Sunday, January 12.
The show was part of Young’s ‘Honor The Treaties’ benefit concerts to raise money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defense Fund in their battle against against Shell Canada, which is looking to expand its Jackpine oil sands mine in the band’s traditional territories.
The press conference, which was held at Massey Hall itself, saw Young claim “integrity isn’t even on the map” for the government.
Young said, “Canada is trading integrity for money. That’s what’s happening under the current leadership in Canada, which is a very poor imitation of the George Bush administration in the United States and is lagging behind on the world stage. It’s an embarrassment to any Canadians.
“I want my grandchildren to grow up and look up and see a blue sky and have dreams that their grandchildren are going to do great things,” he added later. “And I don’t see that today in Canada. I see a government just completely out of control.”
“We made a deal with these people,” he said of the Athabasca Chipewyan. “We are breaking our promise … The blood of these people will be on modern Canada’s hands.”
You can watch four songs from Young’s Massey Hall show here.
Young will play the second show of the ‘Honor The Treaties’ concerts tonight [January 16] at Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
He then plays on January 17 at Conexus Arts Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan and on January 19 at Jack Singer Concert Hall, Calgary, Alberta.
Photo credit: Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images