FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — An oilsands advocate is chiding singer Jann Arden for being “insensitive” to the plight of the ailing industry in a social media post she made more than two years ago.
In the 2016 tweet, Arden criticized the Alberta government over its policy of rounding up wild horses on Crown land, saying the horses don’t do as much damage as the “Tar sands” — a derogatory term for the oilsands.
Robbie Picard, who has a Facebook page called OilSands Strong, is calling on Arden to apologize for the tweet.
Picard says if she doesn’t, fans should boycott her Oct. 30 concert in his home community of Fort McMurray.
He says Arden, who was born and grew up in Alberta, should be aware of how the oilsands benefit the economy and First Nations.
Picard also notes that Arden is doing television ads for Toyota.
“Once again the total ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy of these celebrities,” he said Wednesday.
He said Arden should be held to a higher standard because she is from the province.
“She is not just a fly-in, fly-out celebrity like Jane Fonda or Neil Young or Leonardo Dicaprio,” he said of stars who have been critical of the oilsands industry over the years.
“I’m sick of these people who drive cars and take planes and crap on the oilsands.”
Arden took to Twitter to respond to Picard.
On her website she noted that she had to block dozens of people on Twitter Wednesday.
“So I basically said in a tweet 2 and a half years ago – that the WILD HORSES – didn’t do as much damage as the Tar sands – which is what they used to be called,” she wrote. “But I’m old. Wild horses. Just saying.”
Arden, who has won eight Juno awards over the years since her breakout hit “Insensitive” in the early 1990s, is also famous for her sense of humour.
“Not sure why a tweet from 2016 was dug up …. but I’ve got WAY WORSE ONES than that.”
THE CANADIAN PRESS