Watch this for a good laugh. My particular favourite is Bill Murray.
There is no argument that oil is an important Canadian resource. The industry supports the nation through the oil it supplies for energy and material goods, and by providing employment for thousands of Canadians.
In the past few weeks the development of the oilsands has seen a lot of attention in the media due to Neil Young’s “Honour the Treaties” awareness campaign, and he has certainly brought the discussion of aboriginal rights into the forefront.
He has taken quite a bit of backlash for his stance, which I can’t say is wrong. I have not checked his facts regarding CO2 emissions. Nor do I condemn him for using biofuel that has been trucked in for his tour busses. (Isn’t all fuel trucked in?)
Absolutely, aboriginal rights need to be considered. Perhaps I should disclose that my father was born on a reserve in Maniwaki, Quebec.
What’s curious is how aboriginal rights and environmental concerns have been pitted against the oil industry as though one is right and one is wrong. Both are valid in the growth of our country – environmentally, culturally and economically.
It is also unfair to suggest that the oil industry does not care about the environment, aboriginal rights and well-being, the people who live in the Wood Buffalo area, or the health of its employees.
What bothers me most about the backlash against Neil Young isn’t that folks are opposing his opinion, it’s that they are dismissing it because he is a musician.
The majority of people living in Canada are Canadians. Being a Canadian and living in Canada is in itself enough of a reason to have an opinion on the development of the oilsands.
In fact, having an opinion about the oilsands is not that exclusive – through research I’ve discovered 25% of the opinions expressed in blogs about Neil Young and the oilsands originate from the UK.
Regardless of where you live or what you do for a living, if you care about the environment, human rights or anything else, have an opinion on the oilsands. You’re entitled.
Whether or not you agree with Neil Young is another matter.
That Neil has the clout to bring aboriginal rights and the environmental concerns surrounding the development of the oilsands to this level of public awareness should be applauded. It has forced reaction from government and has caused an avalanche of varying opinion from the public through many communication and digital media platforms.
Social media has proved to be a popular and far-reaching outlet. These stats are from the last 30 days, with the peak obviously within the last week or so.
As someone who specializes in social business strategy, feedback from the public is immeasurably valuable.
In this case, it may be especially valuable to social responsibility groups such as Nexus North, who envision a cultural change in Wood Buffalo during the expansion and development of the oilsands that would help the area become a global model for sustainable living.
Nexus North is considering all of the social components surrounding the area’s development and have formed a collaborative initiative that involves municipal and provincial governments, aboriginal groups, the social profit sector, industry, and includes some leading corporate strategic thinkers from the U.S.
Having access to public opinion so everyone can be heard will add tremendous value to Nexus North’s fellowship brainstorming sessions and decision-making discussions.
For making that possible with a flurry of attention and public opinion, let’s thank Neil Young.
Okay, there are other reasons to thank him too – I’ve always wanted to be his Cinnamon Girl.
If you would like to take a great Magazine Production course, this is the one for you. It’s part of Ryerson University’s Chang School Web and Magazine Publishing Certificate, but you don’t need to be in the certificate program to take it.
(Disclosure: I’m the teacher).
Due to changes in technology and the need to incorporate digital media into publishing, the course is constantly being updated.
The Fall semester curriculum has a nice balance of digital media and print, providing basics for both as well as a few hands-on assignments.
We’ll do all this:
• learn about digital publishing in many formats including websites, blogs, apps, and digital magazines (with static and enhanced content)
• discuss digital media and multiple platform publishing
• visit a printing facility and have a guided plant tour
• gain an understanding of how print and digital workflows can be integrated
Course registration has begun for the Fall term. Classes are on Tuesday evenings beginning on September 12, 2013.
Click here for more information or to register: