Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall was in town last week, promoting his province and its resource riches on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.
His pitch was pretty clever:
Speaking to a luncheon organized by the Canadian American Business Council, the premier read out a letter to the editor of the Washington Post written by one Brian Granahan, a lawyer with the Environment Illinois Research & Education Center, talking about dirty Canadian oil. The letter referred to “tar sands oil produced through a destructive process that has deplorable consequences.” Wall almost spit out the words: “Dirty Canadian oil? How about safe oil. Conflict-free oil . . . energy traded between economies inextricably linked — not only by commerce, but by history. By friendship. By family. By values. By freedom.” Freedom oil. It has a marketable ring to it. Kind of like “conflict-free diamonds.” Or “freedom fries.”
Also, I didn’t get into this in my article, but when Wall raised the recent comments by the Democratic candidates, he did his best John Stewart imitation:
“When I hear these kinds of sentiments from US candidates for president, I want to say: You know, we’re standing right here. We can heeear you!”