Published Jan 17, 2014Neil Young has generated lots of debate lately with his stance against our country's development of the oil sands. Although the Canadian songwriting legend has faced criticisms from government spokesmen and radio programmers, he has a supporter in Blue Rodeo singer Jim Cuddy, who has issued a statement in support of Young.
Cuddy begins, "I believe that Neil Young is brave and articulate and very well informed about the oil sands." He goes on to say that Canada must choose between the economy and the environment, and that earning money comes at the expensive of our clean air and water.
He also clarified his prior comments about the city of Fort McMurray. Cuddy had previously told Saskatchewan's Missinipi Broadcasting Corp [via Maclean's] that Young was "grossly exaggerating" when comparing Fort McMurray to post-nuclear Hiroshima. Cuddy explained that, while Fort McMurray "is a thriving town," the oil sands themselves are "visually grotesque as described."
Cuddy isn't quite as outspoken as Young, since he doesn't directly attack the government for their policies. He does, however, endorse an "open dialogue" and says that we must "force our government to listen."
Cuddy's opinion on such issues carries a little extra weight now that he's been appointed to the Order of Canada. Read the full letter below:
I believe that Neil Young is brave and articulate and very well informed about the oil sands.
Right now, Canada is at a crossroads between economics and the environment and we need to make a very, very brave choice. How much revenue are we willing to sacrifice to ensure that we have clean water, clean air and good health for the people and the planet?
To clarify, I was asked about the town of Fort McMurray, not the oil sands. My comments regarding the exaggeration of the conditions there were about Fort McMurray. The oil sands are as visually grotesque as described. Fort McMurray, on the other hand, is a thriving town whose people are directly affected by the issue of the expansion of the oil sands.
This is not a trivial issue and it is not a time for the media to do anything but provide clarity. This is an issue that is vital to all of our best interests. It is essential that we have an open dialogue about it and we force our government to listen.