New Oil Sands Ad

A campaign designed to re-brand Canada’s oil sands as an ethical alternative to fuel from states with questionable human rights records was scheduled to take to the airwaves on Sunday along with a number of television spots appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The 30-second advertisement suggests that North Americans, via the purchase of more than 400 million barrels of Saudi Arabian oil from last year, helped bankroll a state that doesn’t allow women to drive and does not allow women to leave their home without a male guardian, and believes a woman’s testimony in court is only worth half as much as a man’s testimony.’s Alykhan Velshi; said in a statement that the “public information ad” will run exclusively on the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada for exactly one week.

Velshi said:

“The Oprah network’s programming – which includes lifestyle issues affecting women, women’s health, and entertainment – in my view fits nicely with a campaign promoting Canada’s oil sands as an ethical alternative to misogynist conflict oil from regimes like Saudi Arabia…”

Greenpeace’s Mike Hudema said Velshi is issuing a “very appealing argument” and “dangerous” defense of the environmentally unsound oil sands by framing energy buys as a choice between supporting a liberal democracy like Canada or conflict oil from oppressive regimes.

“It really presents us with a false question … when the reality is, we have a lot of different choices about how we produce energy… We are 100 per cent independent of government and industry,” he said in an email.‘s campaign will likely expand in Canada and into the United States if public donations on its website keep on flowing, according to Velshi.

“This campaign is designed to keep us locked in an outdated fossil-based economy that potentially could decimate the entire
planet if we do not get our greenhouse gas emissions in check, and I think that is the most dangerous part of this campaign…(It’s) going to give people more excuses and give our politicians more reasons to delay action…To me, it is very immoral,” Hudema added.

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