Jane Fonda calls Trudeau 'a disappointment,' defends Alta. oilsands visit
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:36PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 11, 2017 1:26PM EST
Actress Jane Fonda called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "disappointment" on Wednesday and defended her tour of the Alberta oilsands, after several contentious encounters with locals in Fort McMurray.
Fonda accused Trudeau of betraying the "heroic stance" he took on at the 2015 Paris climate talks, following the Liberal government's approval of two contentious new pipeline projects.
"I guess the lesson is we shouldn't be fooled by good-looking Liberals," Fonda said at the University of Alberta Wednesday, during a news conference with First Nations leaders hosted by Greenpeace Canada.
Fonda is in Alberta this week to speak out against new oilsands projects in the region. She warned her audience on Wednesday that the world is at a "tipping point," with leaders in the U.S. and Canada unwilling to do what is necessary to save it. "Let us expose these guys for what they are," she said of Trudeau and his American counterpart, president-elect Donald Trump.
She also acknowledged she's had an "interesting couple of days" in Alberta, where many angry locals have condemned her for criticizing their livelihoods. "We're not here to trash Alberta, to trash Fort McMurray or the men and women who work the tarsands," she said.
The 79-year-old actress faced two angry Fort McMurray residents on Tuesday, in encounters caught on video and posted online. The back-to-back encounters happened during an interview outside a restaurant with a local reporter.
"Are you aware that Jim Boucher from the Fort McKay First Nations just invested $250 million into the oilsands?" Fort McMurray local Robbie Picard interjected during the interview.
One of Fonda's handlers immediately told Picard they did not have time to speak with him, and her whole entourage started walking away with her.
Picard accused the handler of "not telling the whole story about aboriginally owned businesses."
Fonda did not respond to the question.
Fort McMurray local Susan Plamondon also challenged Fonda, asking if she flew over the reclamation areas as well, and urging her not to bash the community.
The backlash against Fonda has also played out online in Alberta, where many have condemned her as an out-of-touch Hollywood celebrity.
Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean was among those to criticize her visit. He voiced his support for Plamondon and Picard on Facebook yesterday, saying: "Our city has been through enough this year and we don't need folks like Jane Fonda and Leonardo DiCaprio kicking us when we're down."
Dear @Janefonda— Kaitlyn Englot (@kaitlynenglot_) January 11, 2017
Please go home. Nobody in Alberta wants you here, except maybe Rachel Notley, but nobody wants her either. ❤️
.@Janefonda if you value equality and women's rights why are you only attacking the most socially progressive top oil reserve country?— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) January 10, 2017
Others came out in Fonda's defence, saying she is shining a necessary light on environmental issues in Alberta.