01/19/2014 04:21 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Joe Oliver Says Neil Young Doesn't Have Oilsands Facts Right


Neil Young got a taste of his own medicine on Sunday when he was criticized by Canada's Natural Resources Minister.

In an interview with CTV's Question Period, Joe Oliver said Young "does not have his facts right" about Canada's resource development and accused him of "using his fame to advance a story which is fundamentally false."

He said Young is using "exaggerated rhetoric" that "does nothing to increase his credibility or the cause he's purporting to represent or the people whose economic conditions he wants to improve."

Young, who is wrapping up an anti-oilsands tour, denied a meeting with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

CAPP said it offered to "have a balanced discussion" with Young and the chief of a first nation that is fighting oilsands development.

The invitation was not accepted, but a representative of Young and Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam offered an alternative that was unacceptable, CAPP said.

Young's representative suggested oilsands producers participate in Neil Young's media conference, according to CAPP, and a request for a neutral moderator and equal representation was denied.

“Oilsands producers said we’d be willing to sit down on Neil Young’s stage with a neutral moderator and balanced representation, and we’re disappointed these reasonable terms could not be met,” said Dave Collyer, CAPP’s president, in an online statement.

"Regardless, our invitation to meet with Neil Young or Chief Adam at a future date remains open."

The move comes at a time when Young has heavily criticized oilsands development and said Alberta will "look like the moon" if the area isn't preserved.

He has also stuck by statements that the oilsands mining projects near Fort McMurray resemble the devastation wrought by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in 1945.

Young's Hiroshima claim prompted some Twitter users in the Fort McMurray area to challenge the comments by posting pictures of natural scenes of rivers, lakes and forests under the hashtag #myhiroshima.

With files from The Canadian Press

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