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Carleton Liberals call 'Oil Sands Strong' logo "Racist," unaware that OSS is Indigenous-Owned

Yesterday, a tweet was issued against MP Pierre Poilievre from the Carleton Federal Liberal Association. It attacked the MP for wearing a hoodie with a logo that was allegedly associated with "climate change denial" and "white supremacy."

The tweet reads: "Does he deny climate change? And what’s with the clenched white fist, a white supremacy symbol? Really? What does Poilievre stand for? Who's he fighting for? We’d like to know. Wouldn't you?" The tweet has since been deleted.

If the Carleton Liberals had actually done any research on Oil Sands Strong, a grassroots pro-energy advocacy group of Canadians whose "mission is to fight back against these attacks by providing the public with the factual information they need to make informed decisions about," maybe they wouldn't have issued such a ridiculous claim. Oil Sands Strong was actually established and owned by Robbie Picard, an indigenous man living in Fort McMurray.

We reached out to Robbie for discussion on the matter:

TBT: What're your thoughts on the incident, overall?

As a gay Metis man in the energy sector, I've experienced different forms of abuse and microaggressions but I tend not to let it bother me. However, we do need to stop these disastrous misinformed attacks on our energy sector. This one caught me particularly off-guard as it came from a constituency association. Over 5 years, as I've run the page, I've spoken from Vancouver to Halifax, I have taken on celebrities like Jane Fonda for misinformation . However, to call an organization as multicultural as ours (in a city like Fort McMurray, which is also very much multicultural) white supremacist is insulting. I'm also a full member of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association, and 90% of our revenue comes from indigenous owned businesses. Lastly, it's elitist: it just shows how out of touch Ottawa is with the people who furnish the tax revenue needed to support their lifestyle.

TBT: What kind of resolution would you like to see to this incident?

-I've worked with all people from many different political backgrounds, including Rachel Notley and even Trudeau before he became Prime Minister, but I hope at the bare minimum that who ever put this out apologizes. That comment shows an absolute lack of common sense. We need to realize that this war on fossil fuels is destroying the country; we all need fossil fuels to thrive. Gaslighting the 90,000 people who support this organization as white supremacist is wrong and the person should be held accountable.
Also, they've insulted a well-known conservative politician in the process who was just showing support for Albertans in Ottawa. Notice too how they go out of their way to crop out his biracial daughter; it really shows how low they're willing to go to misrepresent.

TBT: Anything else you want to add?

We need to stop using Fort McMurray and our energy workers as political punching bags to score points. It's cruel, misguided and not factual. When you have a politician like Elisabeth May who travels from Gulf Islands to Ottawa on a regular basis, calling carbon dead, we see through the hypocrisy - all they're doing is damaging the country. We're not gonna solve any of our problems by being immature children.

MP David Yurdiga also reached out to TBT to comment on the matter:

Liberals have gone too far in attacking Pierre Poilievre as a white supremacist for supporting the oil sands and wearing an Oil Sands Strong hoodie. It seems the Liberal elite have made it clear everyone working in the energy sector is a "white supremacist." As proud Albertans, we must demand a public apology and the removal of this individual from the Liberal party. We should strive to unite, not demonize and divide Canadians.
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