By Josh Wingrove
Mr. Cameron effectively lent his celebrity to the leaders of several Alberta first nations by appearing with them Wednesday, thrusting their long-held complaints to unprecedented prominence.
Mr. Cameron, who recognizes there is apprehension about 'drive-by environmentalism,' urged Alberta to consider the environmental pressures the multibillion-dollar industry is putting on the province, pointing to the polluted Athabasca River in particular: 'I can't imagine being told by mom I can't swim in the river.'
But while many were wary of what Mr. Cameron describes as Hollywood “drive-by environmentalism,” he wielded a keen understanding of the industry and its intricacies, after wrapping up a three-day oil-sands tour. He was praised even by his opponents for listening to industry, government and first nations alike.