Anti-oilsands posters calling Canada a “dirty old man” have hit the streets of Washington, D.C., the latest salvo in an ongoing public relations war over the oilsands.
“Do not talk about climate change,” reads one poster featuring an image of Parliament Hill. “It’s against government policy.”
Another poster features a quote, “Canada is the dirty old man,” reportedly citing an article from The Guardian arguing Canada has a poor environmental track record.
The posters — which have also appeared in Ottawa and Halifax — are the work of Canadian artist Franke James, who published a book earlier this year alleging that the federal government cut her funding for a European tour because of her anti-oilsands opinions.
According to OhNoCanada.com, the website which the posters advertise, “James’ 20-city European art show was cancelled as a direct result of behind-the-scenes government interference by high-level bureaucrats, including the Deputy Director of Climate Change, Jeremy Wallace, a Canadian Ambassador, Scott Heatherington, and a Senior Trade Commissioner in Berlin, Thomas Marr."
“As a Canadian citizen, to know that the government is interfering in private business is really shocking. It’s undemocratic,” said James, as quoted by the Toronto Star. “If art has to agree with government policy, then art is government propaganda.”
Well, it appears James has gotten her revenge.
OhNoCanada.com is registered to The James Gang, a Toronto content development company run by James and her husband, William James, Canada.com reports.
The site says three posters have appeared at bus stops on Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, and three more posters are still to come. It describes the campaign as a “five-figure ad buy.”
Canadian pro- and anti-Keystone XL pipeline advocates have recently been taking their fight to the U.S. Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently told a New York business audience Canada "won't take no for an answer" on the pipeline. The final decision on the pipeline appears to have been pushed off to 2014.
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