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not all is equal. what choice will you make?

Saudi Arabia moves to censor Canadian TV ad

Alykhan September 19, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an oil rich dictatorship, has moved to censor a Canadian television ad that educates Canadian consumers about the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and the role played by Saudi oil exports in enabling this oppression. The ad can be viewed here.

“This is a brazen act of domestic political interference by a foreign dictatorship that neither understands nor respects the rights of women or freedom of speech,” said Alykhan Velshi, executive director of, a grassroots advocacy organization that educates consumers about their choice between ethical oil from Canada’s oil sands and conflict oil from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia. “Each time we buy Saudi conflict oil we are funding their oppression – and now their attempts at Saudi-style censorship of Canadian TV. This is the ad Saudi Arabia doesn’t want Canadians to see.”

On September 6, 2011, Telecaster Services from the Television Bureau of Canada, the advertising review and clearance service funded by Canada’s private broadcasters, notified that it had received a cease and desist letter from lawyers for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia demanding that approval for’s ad be withdrawn. Telecaster Services had approved the ethical oil spot on August 18, 2011 and the ad subsequently ran and completed its run of schedule on the Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada).

The cease and desist letter was sent by Norton Rose, a global law firm with Canadian offices. Norton Rose attorney Rahool Agarwal has confirmed his representation of Saudi Arabia to’s legal counsel. Despite repeated requests Norton Rose has refused to provide’s legal counsel with the material sent to the Telecaster on behalf of the Saudi dictatorship.

In response to the Saudi dictatorship’s move, is taking the following actions:

  1. The ad has been put back on the air.  Starting today the Sun News Network is airing the spot.
  2. Velshi has written to His Excellency Osamah A. Al Sanosi Ahmad, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Canada, informing him the ad has been put back on the air and challenging him to a televised debate about the ad and its contents.
  3. Velshi has alerted Foreign Minister John Baird and Dean Allison, Chairman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade about the incident in writing, calling on the government and the parliamentary committee to investigate a foreign dictatorship trying to censor what Canadians can and cannot see on their televisions.

For more information, contact:
Alykhan Velshi

Comments (269)

  1. Pingback: Moe Lane » Ethical oil’s excellent enemies: Saudi Arabia & Think Progress.

  2. Pingback: Ethical oil’s excellent enemies: Saudi Arabia & Think Progress. | RedState

  3. seriously could canada ethical oil company not find a marketing company to come up with creative to sell the product on its own merits than to misuse facts of a country that the average person does not have direct experience with. Having visited Saudi Arabia, having met with women of all social backgrounds, that go to work, I find the statements a little below the belt. This ad is breeding misunderstanding and economic ignorance. If you go out with the intent to attack a kingdom in the aim of securing profit for a new product its best to have all your facts. Attacking a country without having a solution in place is not clever and Saudi Arabia has every right to request that they censor information your blatantly pushing out propaganda to sell a product at a nations expense.

    • Huh? Saudi Arabia has ZERO right to request anything, except of our federal government. Full stop.

      We in Alberta cannot even censor advertising thats against our own government, instead we help pay for it. And you think a foreign country should have more say than we do?

      • that women in Saudi Arabia have no rights. They have lots of rights. They go to school, they work, they have their on bank accounts, their own money. OMG they aren’t allowed to drive! big deal. All women in the west do is complain that they have to do everything. Work, clean, shop, raise kids, drive them here and there. And besides, maybe if all the women around the world stopped driving, that would cut down on the amount of precious oil we need and there would be no need for a debate like this anyways :)

        • Pro tip — here in the West, actual feminists don’t support things like “women just need to know their place”.

          • oh really, here in the west. Well I live here in the west, was born and raised here in the west and I see that women are no more equal to men here in the west then there in the east. Perhaps you should open up your eyes to the treatment of women here in the west and see that we are no better off. All of the abuse that Saudi women suffer, Western women suffer to. And the fact that a compnay would use that to sell a product is pittiful!

          • If that’s true — and I rather doubt that it is; in all likelihood you’re a late teenage Arab kid, dreaming of the magical day you’ll get a woman of your very own to objectify and beat — then perhaps you should reflect for a moment on the country that gives you nearly total freedom to make a total jackass of yourself online.

          • nope, last time i checked i was born a woman and in the 70′s, I don’t think that makes me a teenager. although sometimes I wish I still was. If I was an Arab kid so wanting to objectify and beat a woman, why would I be admitting that there is a problem with woman abuse in both Canada and Saudi Arabia? All women have rights. you cannot say that women in Saudi Arabia’s rights are violated any more then Canadian women’s. Canada is not perfect if you cannot see that then you are loooking at the world through rose colored glasses. And from they way you reply to strangers, attacking them and being rather condescending i’m sure there are others in your life you treat that way. I am a jackass because I have an opinion and you don’t agree with it? And again this is about a company wanting to gain business. Its dirty business and if you want to support a business like that go right ahead.

          • No, you’re a jackass because you’re a closed-minded ultra-nationalist who can’t even be bothered to *pretend* to care one iota about women.

            This ridiculous false equivalency you insist on promoting is pathetic in the extreme. In Canada, if a woman is beaten by the police, it’s a serious crime; in Saudi Arabia, it’s a slow Tuesday. In Canada, if a woman is raped by her husband, he goes to prison; in Saudi Arabia, it’s not even recognized as a crime. Yet women in Canada are just as abused? LOL!

            Back to the basement with you.

          • Women in Canada are just as abused. Yes I said it. Are we talking about if it is illegal or not or if it happens? As well you think it is that easy here in Canada to have justice prevail. if you think by going to the police the matter will be solved then you obviously arent a woman who has done this. Once you are you will see that it is also a slow tuesday. Again there is no winning with a person like you who won’t acknowledge the bigger picture of the dirty business that goes on all over the world. just as the oil business is not cut and dry neither is our justice system. we have flaws like any other country.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 18:53

            Listen up you little twit I was an abused woman….the police came and took him and he went to jail….in Saudi a woman would have no such luck….we have muslims here in Canada that try to live by Sharia Law until they face our justice system….I’m sure you’ve heard of honour killings….

          • Have you absolutely no education? Have you ever been to any middle eastern country or have ever been educated on what goes on there? What about a little thing call female genital mutilation? Look it up hun. Or what about the fact that women in some Middle Eastern Countries are stoned to death or put on trial for even talking to another man that is not her father, brother, uncle or husband. You don’t even know what goes on there. Do not sit here and complain about how bad women get treated in Canada. Maybe you should leave your little bubble every once in a while because you are not of the real world!

        • Reading your nonsense, poor spelling and grammar has certainly moved the feminist movement backwards a few decades. Perhaps some education that didn’t come from Hollywood might help you cope with the real world?

          • Hmm Hollywood? nope Canadian born and raised. because i dont use proper grammer and punctuation and i can’t spell (yes i can admit it is a fault of mine) does not mean i am uneducated. Am i writing my thesis for my masters in women’s studies? nope, been there done that. I don’t expect you to understand about the treatment of women because you are a man. Beside’s the whole point isn’t even about the treatment of women. It’s about a company slandering a country to sell their product and if you want to fall for that by all means go ahead.

          • It’s not slander if all the statements are factual. If you have issue with the referenced material, go back to the original author and ask for corrections, but I doubt any would be forth coming.

          • feminist – yes women are abused in Canada. BUT the police and justice system acts swiftly on these matters — I know, been there, I’ve called 911 on a domestic abuse scene — police wasted no time arriving, laid charges, perpetrator in the slammer, no contact. I was promptly contacted by victim services, updated on every court appearance within 24 hours. yes abuse happens in Canada, but WE DON’T TOLERATE IT!!!!!!!!!!! if you had a different experience with domestic violence, that is unfortunate. But you can’t convince me in any way that women in the west have it as bad as women in the east.

          • my experiance actually was quite different. I was stalked, calls and visits did nothing until it got violent. And when it did, and i defended myself i was charged. What a wonderful system we have here. I cant even defend myself against a man that is twice my size. Women everywhere are abused. It doesn’s matter where they are from. If we don’t want to support countried that abuse women then we cannot support any country. So walk to work, grow your own food, make your own clothing. Having been abused, how can you support a company that makes a commercial about women’s abuse to sell oil!!! I dont see how anyone can support that. For everything everyone is saying, i bet maybe one person actually cares and will get off of thier computer and do something about the abuse women face everyday!

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 19:25

            There is no slander in that commercial… your eyes!! Everything said is true and that is only the tip of the iceberg….

            How dare you call yourself a feminist….you are no feminist >:<

          • How dare you call me a twit. wow i can see my opinions are really upsetting you. it’s just my opinion, no need to get that upset over it. and certainly no need for name calling “twit” “dense” i can really see that abuse it at the top of your things to stand up for when more then once you have verbally abused me. If you get this upset with me, a stranger over the internet with an opinion that is different then yours, I wonder what you are like in your eveyday life, what you say or do to people face to face who disagree with you.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 22:19

            All people are entitled to their opinion and I respect that but reading the crap that you spew is annoying in the least. If you truly knew anything about what goes on in the Middle East and Africa then you’d know what the plight of women actually was…..There is nothing wrong with the ad all it shows is what is going on in Saudi and that it would be better to get their oil at home….and that’s a great idea.

          • it can’t be that annoying, you keep reading it :) I know first hand what the plight of women all over the world is. The commercial is wrong because a company is selling a product using women who are abused. Abused women are being exploited for so called ethical oil.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten October 10, 2011 at 23:33

            You know first hand?? Ya right….you really are a twit….go back to school and study the Middle East….then come back….actually calling you a twit is too nice….you’re an idiot

        • wow that is seriously one of the dumbest comments I have ever read. You are in no way, shape or form a feminist. I’m ashamed for you.

        • Yes , women do go to school , work amd have bank accounts what you have not mentioned is that they need the permisson of a male guardian

        • Let’s be truthful – females in Saudia can only go to school, work, travel, leave the house to get to the bank, if their mahram gives them permission. The women in Saudia hate not being able to drive. That is why they are doing protest driving under fear of being arrested. A Saudi woman who drove illegally was just handed a sentence of 10 lashes for daring to drive. How about you stop driving as an example for all women to stop driving? Give it six months and come back and report. Saudia women can’t even initiated a divorce from an abusive husband without having to pay back the downry. But the husband can divorce them without even telling them face to face or he can take a second, third or fourth wife without telling them, too. While their protective rules for women state that all four wives are to be treated the same, there is no enforcement that really works. In order to get heard at court, you have to find a man who will take care of the paperwork and communicate for you. Good luck! The entire Sharia governing women is slanted for the man to win every time.

    • Saudi Arabia isn’t “requesting” anything. It’s using threatening lawfare to bully media companies and into shutting up. Apparently the cowardly pussies at CTV have already knuckled under. Naomimcgill is either a Saudi, paid by the Saudis or a useful idiot on their behalf.

      • JR i have to say that ,,,ur so pathetic as others who making psych comments,,,u don’t know about saudi and how they live, trying to show the world that ur claver and know what’s going on.

        just i want to make it easy for ur brain.

        The dogs bark but the caravan goes on،،،،

        Saudi has much more valuable stuff to wast her energy on, and even we don’t even care wither ur government is trying to show fake sympathy saudi women oppression.

        we do realise why western swindlers making this drama to steer their idiot chump nation as they do ever in accordance to their evil plan.

        They are polishing their image by sticking their nose in others matter by the name of democracy,,,,,,,,

        pls stop sticking ur dirty nose ,,,,,,,

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  6. For far too long we have ignored the ethical situation in the Middle East in regards to human rights and oppression. We have taken their overpriced oil and ignored the rest but NO MORE. The times demand we stop buying Saudi oil.

    • It’s not about human rights when it comes to oil revenue. Our own Canadian Government would rather have you purchase Saudi oil, to drive in your European made car so they can tax the life out of you. Have you ever looked at the ACTUAL cost of gasoline? The numerous taxes and fees that are added are made to rip-off the consumer. The Saudi people know they will continue to get rich because hey you need oil to get to your job on time so you can pay your bills and feed your family on time. This has to be a joint effort with the Government of Canada to help improve transit in the country to relieve us of the necessity for oil. Alberta Oil sands are a very expensive alternate. It costs more to drill out of oil sands as there is higher costs of turning this into crude to be used in gasoline. Also oil costs are not set by OPEC. OPEC decides how much they will drill and produce but the ACTUAL costs come from Wall Street manipulations and fear mongering.

      • Nope, sorry.

        Put simply, oil futures are merely bets that oil will sell for a certain price in the future. Futures don’t influence the price of oil any more than betting on your local hockey team improves their record. The futures market is very efficient, though, and so it’ll tend to predict future prices reasonably well.

      • OPEC May not directly set the price for oil, but being such a large single exporter they sure can influence it. They may not hold the majority of export but no other single organization holds anywhere close to their current market share. What do you think would happen if OPEC nations held enough currency to stop their export of oil??? They do hold potential power to throw this world into economic chaos at least for those countries that require import.

    • i have an idea lets just og to war and take it. much more fun. kil all the men leave the girls. no more oppression. lol i hate me a packy.

  7. Pingback: Ethical oil’s excellent enemies: Saudi Arabia & Think Progress. | Tea Party Base

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  9. The cowards that decided to pull this add are nothing but a bunch of cowards. By their cowardly actions they are enabling the suppression of human rights and allowing a dictatorship to impose their will on Canadians. This add is factual and as far as I understand perfectly legal to be broadcast. Anybody that supports this action by an oppressive foreign dictatorship is a serious infringement on the Rights of Canadians.

    • Budoor Mohammed (saudi woman) September 20, 2011 at 23:47

      Do u think it’s not deception and interfering in others issues.We are Saudi women enunciating to Canadian’s and Vlesh that we are able to speak up and ask about our rights and u don’t have to stand up on behalf of saudi women. And if do u think saudi is easily to be threatened u are so vacuous

      • Saudi isn’t being threatened. The ad only points out the truth to life as a woman in Saudia Arabia. They have no business dictating to Canadians what should be shown on OUR free media.

        • Budoor Mohammed (saudi women) September 21, 2011 at 14:30

          good we agree in one point as we have no right to dedicating to Canadian what should be shown on ur fake free media, u and all Canadian have no right to interfere our internal issues to take advantage.

          if u don’t wanna buy our oil it’s ur matter we don’t care.

          if u want to be respected , u have to do first and don’t stick ur nose in others issue and then ask for ur rights and freedom to be respected .

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 13:54

            You come from a repressed society so what would you know about our media…..BTW we have every right to make the commercial if we like….there are no lies in it and all it’s telling people to do is to walk away from Arab oil and get it here in Canada. Saudi is just pissed off because they don’t like to be challenged…..nor can they take criticism. Why don’t you just go back to Saudi Arabia and get your education there instead of taking a seat in a class that a student that wants to be here could use???

      • Could we suspect that Saudi sends you here to get a foot in the door of Canadian politics? Spy perhaps? Open doors for future generations who will take over and annihilate white Canada? Remember, English, French and Spanish explored the world, discovered North America and developed it to what it is today. We are not about to let a few camel jockeys rule us anytime soon.

          • Budoor Mohammed (saudi women) September 21, 2011 at 14:55

            ya Feminist their level of intelligence let them steal Arabs science while they were discovering the wold ,,,,,

            Indeed, while Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages,” the Arab/Islamic civilization was at its apogee.

            It was this same Islamic civilization, with its many contributions to science and the humanities, that paved the way for the rise of the West to its present prominence.

            go and read the history idiot

          • Budoor mohammed (Saudi Women) September 21, 2011 at 15:35

            By the way i’m not in Canada and it’s not honore to be in ur country. And if i would just to return back what white Canadian dunces had stolen

          • Please explain to me what the people of Canada have stolen from you. People from your country are immigrating to my country, CANADA, not Canadians immigrating to Saudi Arabia,need I say more.

          • Speaking of reading, I read a lovely book called Infadel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Very compelling read. Good insights into Islam and their treatment of women.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 02:23

            You call yourself a feminist but you’re not or you would care what happens to women in Saudi…you know the beatings women get for being raped (and of course those that are murdered by male members of the family after being raped)…not allowd to drive or have an opinion. Do you even know what a feminist is??

          • I do care what happens to Saudi women, in fact i care what happens to all women. I don’t like that an oil company is using abuse against women to sell a product! I dont like that everyone is getting all up in arms about it but does nothing about it! I never said women in Saudi weren’t abused. I did say that so are women in Canada and all over the world. So if you choose not to support any country that abused its women then you better start walking to work, growing your own food and making your own clothes. If you think that women in Saudi Arabia are the only women outside of Canada and the US with less rights then us then you need to open you eyes. Bottom line is the oil company has pointed out abuse in one country to sell their product yet probably could give a rats ass about it! They are using your emotions

      • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 02:19

        Why are you here in the west getting educated if you appove of what Saudi Arabia is doing?? Why not just get your education there…..if your male owner will allow you……you are so brain washed by your government you’re blind as to what they are really up to….

        • My dear, you need to explore a more nuanced perspective of the human rights narrative. What you call brainwashing, do you not believe what you have been taught is right? Do you consider yourself brainwashed, then? It is important that we not trump human rights and boast of such, without understanding the subtle and hidden power relations and dynamics behind the narrative of human rights. Am I attacking human rights, now? No! But I am suggesting that there are also power relations and dynamics behind the worldview which you have accepted as right and have decided to live by. More so, in this case a human rigths issue is being appropriated by an organization for economic, monetary, and financial means. Human rights were trumped in the case of intervention in Iraq. Human rights have many times been used to secure domestic support for, what really, is a violent and oppressive foreign policy. My dear, we do not need to criticize. We do not need to yell at one another. We must be willing to listen and learn. Education is not about concluding but exploring.

      • NAIF and Proud Saudi Woman, I would like to apologize on behalf of all Canadians and Albertans, as one, for all of the passion here misdirected towards ignorance, racism and hatred. I am deeply ashamed of my countrymates and sincerely would like you to forgive us for this assult, this afront, and this abuse.

  10. Mr. Velshi,
    Sir, I can’t express how ecstatic and delighted I am with the stand you and Mr. Levant are taking!

    FINALLY voices of reason (vs. that of the main stream enemedia), who are standing up to these totalitarian medieval Islamic pseudo-theological thugs!

    Clearly, to any freedom lover (leftists excepted), we should not be buying oil, or anything else for that matter, from people who effectively use our former money for stealth jihad to further their supremacist infiltrations in the West.

    Outstanding! Stay the course!

    • proud saudi women September 21, 2011 at 01:37

      Mr. Dave,
      thank u for ur respectful utterance that conducted ur personality with the utmost propriety.Dear it’s our pleasure that will buy our oil as we will not have to feel guilty any more about supplying an organisation of assassins , parasites and sadistic killers to kill our guiltless medieval islamic nation.

  11. A dictator who does not have any mandate to rule & who has kept more than 2000 dissidents in secret prison years after years without any trial by any court of law has no right to dictate the free world.Keep up your good work.

  12. I advise you to ignore this ad because if you believe this company has good intentions, you are being cheated out of your own money!

    Allow me to explain. They are taking information and arranging it in such a manner that is brings about an impression that every time you buy Saudi Oil, your money is being used to inflate injustice to the ‘defenseless’ women. This false impression is brought about by the negative images and soundtrack which over-exaggerate the ‘facts’ they have used in this ad.

    Near the end of the advertisement you hear “Why are we paying their bills and funding their aggression?” This is verbal proof that they are trying to trick you into believing that you are making a wrong choice buying Saudi oil. There is no aggression in Saudi Arabia.

    Their marketing tactic is wrong in many ways. Innocent people who do not know the actually situation in Saudi Arabia will believe that they have been caught doing something wrong by buying Saudi Oil, and that in order to forgive themselves they have to buy the alternative. If that wasn’t enough, they decide to put the face of the king in the advertisement as if they point that he is to blame in an attempt to dirty his name.

    Why did they decide to make such an ad? Obviously because people would rather pay for cheaper good quality oil rather than the unfamiliar Canadian oil. This Canadian oil company desperately wants to sell their stuff.

    If you’re worried about the ‘facts’, I’ll let you know that I am a woman, and I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia all my life. So from my experiences, I can easliy say that it is within Arabian culture to be over protective towards woman. It is not considered a cruelty but a responsibility placed on men. Of course though, this varies between families, and depends on how culturally embedded they are. I am not saying that Saudi Arabia is a very free country (but it is quite just, try comparing the crime rate of Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world), yet it would be nonsense if you do not realize that every country has their own cultures and their ups and downs, no matter how civilized they may be. Being over-protective about women and the extent the government takes on trying to keep everyone safe may not seem logical to you, but its a system that has been proven to work.

    Anyways, I hope you realize that this ad is trying to create a guilt within you on false impressions, allowing the Canadian oil company to profit off you. Other than that, if you still find Canadian oil to be a better choice, go ahead.

    • Sorry lady… You’ve been indoctrinated to believe that the status of women in Saudi Arabia is for their protection. Civil society sees it far differently. We need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil anyway, and if it means that we knock the legs out from under a bunch of oppressive regimes that have more money than sense, I don’t have a problem with it. It’ll take that whole “Blood for oil” argument right out of the picture as well!

      • Sir

        Do you think its logical to judge something you are unfamiliar with? You guessed it. You’ve never been to Saudi arabia, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. And you can’t say I’ve be indoctrinated to believe what I do believe.. By saying that, I have the right to say that you’ve been indoctrinated to believe otherwise!

    • Sorry lady… You’ve been indoctrinated to believe that the status of women in Saudi Arabia is for their protection. Civil society sees it far differently. We need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil anyway, and if it means that we knock the legs out from under a bunch of oppressive regimes that have more money than sense, I don’t have a problem with it. It’ll take that whole “Blood for oil” argument right out of the picture as well!

      • I don’t believe any country including our own would allow another country to slander us on television like that

        • Seriously? You may want to crawl out from that rock you’ve been living under. Have you seen the giant billboards in the US and Europe slamming Alberta and the oil sands? Canada didn’t send lawyers after those guys. Why? Because, we value free speech and we’re not scared!!! Everyday our oilsands cherry pick more Saudi oil customers… Be very afraid, we’re taking over!!! Ethically!!

          • Why doesn’t our country stand up for itself then? But I do think slamming the Alberta oil sands is a little different then talking about how a country treats its people.

        • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 18:30

          Cuba has signs all over the country putting down the USA……I’ve also seen anti american anti imperialism commercials on all the Fidel channels….those are the state run tv……

      • Glad you asked. If a company were to base their ideas on something already copyrighted and make money on it, that is an infringement.

        The same idea goes here, the bank had an idea that is based on an outside country without the consent of the country. I bet you’re probably thinking about free speech, etc, but this isn’t about that.

        The fact is, they are using ideas based on Saudi’s Arabia’s name, and then trying to make money off that. Its infringement.

        Not only that, their idea is giving false impressions, so if later people would find out that what this ad talks about isn’t true, Saudi Arabia would be held responsible for this portrayal unless they did something about it.

        My interest is to defend our rights as consumers.. I know that I’m not the only one here who hates being cheated.

        • Chronstar_tommie November 27, 2011 at 12:24

          Saudi Arabia is not copywrited, its a name of a country anyone can use here freely. No strings attached. Was a women not just arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia? This because they are being protective over women, they arrested her? Sorry thats illogical.

      • I would just like to quickly remind you that Europe hosted a campaign against Albertan and Canadian oil within the past several years, it was not advertised by governments but by civil societies, and in fact those adverts were pulled due to Canada’s diplomatic whining and veiled threats.

        • I forgot to mention the campaign was advertising the dirty and unethical nature of Albertan oil; the same which this campaign is saying of Saudi.

    • It’s funny how everybody is all up in arms about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia when women in our own country are stalked, controlled, exploited, beaten, sexually assulted, raped, sold and pimped everyday but its ok because they can get a drivers licence and drive? Perhaps our country should fix it’s own problems before complaining about anothers. And I would really like to know how many of the people here protesting Saudi Oil are biking to work instead of driving?

      • I agree with you, something needs to be done about abused women, but I would like to point out that when you refer to abuse of women in Saudi Arabia, it isn’t exactly what is portrayed on the ad. Sure, there may be abused women, pretty sure you can find that anywhere in the world. Its just not as severe as this ad makes one believe.

        • I know, the ad is ridiculous. Make’s Saudi’s look horrible. I don’t blame them for wanting this ad to be taken down. People with no knowledge of the Kingdom will now only have a negative view of it.

          • Because Saudi Arabia had *such* a sterling reputation beforehand, thanks to native sons like Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta.

          • So you will generalize then? As they say let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch? Just because their government is not perfect (I believe ours isn’t either) You will group all the Saudi people together? That is worse then anything.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten October 10, 2011 at 21:00

            It’s not just women that are treated badly there…..homosexuals are routinely executed as well. Why don’t you go to Saudi and try to be a feminist therre…you’d last about 5 minutes before they arrest you….didn’t you hear about the Saudi woman that is facing the death penalty because they’ve accused her of being a witch???? Poor people there are treated like slaves…no vacations, very little pay…long hours…need I say more??? Just because you were born in the 70′s doesn’t mean you now much about being a feminist…..

            Oh and BTW Canada is in the top 3 best countries in which to live because of our rights and freedoms….get over yourself you wanna be feminist……

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 18:42

            And just how much knowledge of the situation do you have feminist??? You are so totally missing the point……Saudi Arabia HAS NO RIGHT TO TELL US WHAT WE CAN PUT ON TV!!!! Man are you ever dense…..if you think it’s so great over there then why don’t you go live there…..I’ve had family live there and from what they told me women have no rights…..I also studied it in sociology as well….

          • I like where I live just fine, but I can name you alot of places that are a hell of a lot worse to live in then Saudi Arabia. SO you have hearsay and what you have learned in school…Ever think about who decides what you learn in school. Try getting first hand experiance about the situation then your views perhaps may change. None of that is the point anyways. The point is that a compnay is using the abuse towards women to sell a product and that is horrible. Exploiting women abuse, thats as bad as the abuse itself

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten October 10, 2011 at 23:29

            Try reading what Amnesty International has to say about Saudi Arabia….
            I was already grown up by the time you were born peckerhead…..when I went to school we were taught everything unlike your stupid generation….The point is is Saudi Arabia abuses everybody’s rights unless you are rich…..working in social services doesn’t say much for you…..all it says is that you can’t do anything else….

      • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 18:37

        We have a justice system that deals with that…..crawl out from under that rock you’re living under and take a look for yourself….the problem with Saudi is that it’s ok to do these things to women and not have to go to jail….As for your comment on how I get to work….I take public transit….now that I’m off on sick leave I still use public transit……once in a while I get drives….Get off your high horse and open your eyes all Alberta is doing it offering a better way. Isn’t it better to get the oil here rather than from the enemy……you so quickly forget that 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis and the others were pakistani……Bin Laden himself was from a prominant Saudi family…..Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are the enemies so why buy from the enemy????

        • your calling me dense? First off i’m sure you get rides not drives…And if you are that naive to believe that the events of 9/11 were just as the media makes them seem, then i feel sorry for you. being so closed minded. I know that women in canada have it better then women in Saudi I’m not naive to that fact. The point I am trying to get across is that women everywhere are abused. We would have to stop all imports from all countries if we really wanted to take a stand. And just because something is illegal (abuse), doesnt mean it is not still socially acceptable in many parts of the world. It is simply made illegal to look good to other countries. If you were abused you would not appreciate a compnay trying to sell oil by exploiting the abuse you have suffered. And God help us if people continue to think like you “Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are the enemies” This is the problem with this world, judging groups of people based on race and religion instead of on an individual basis. That really makes me sick.

          • I think you and I would be good friends haha! I share many of the same sentiments and understand the frustration of peope misreading and misinterpreting your message in order to bat around insults instead of pursuing self-reflection through dialogue.

          • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 28, 2011 at 20:32

            Why don’t you crawl back under that rock you live under. We all know that women are abused around the world…..maybe you should check with Amnesty International about how bad the abuse is of women in the Middle East and parts of Africa……Women aren’t the only ones that get abused…..

    • Nida, while don’t you get pregnant without an approved family marriage and we will see how forgiving and protective your family becomes! If you found someone in Canada or any foreign country that you wanted to marry who wasn’t Saudi, you know your government wouldn’t approve the marriage and allow your foreign husband (Muslim or not) into Saudia in a government approved marriage with government papers approving your marriage or even recognizing him as your husband. Unless you have much “wasta” there is no way you even have the freedom of choosing who you marry. Not to mention the approval from your family to choose who you want to marry. Especially if you are Nejdi. Don’t try to fool someone who really knows the rules in your country. Not to mention, you can’t even leave your country with written approval from your mahram. And, you can spend all this time getting a foreign education and then there are no jobs available in Saudi for you. Not to mention, unless your family has some money to buy a car and driver from some poor country for you, you couldn’t even get to work as there isn’t any public transporation, you can’t drive, and it’s too dangerous and not halal for you to take a taxi alone in Saudia with a man who isn’t your mahram. We aren’t stupid.

  13. Canada has plenty of oil and so does the U.S. We should be focusing on being more self-dependent anyways. I had issues with Saudi Arabia for depriving people of their rights, not just the sex, but in general. Saudi Arabia has always tried to keep their people in their place. Somewhere along the line, the have to learn to let go and accept change. OPEC does ditctate the price of oil and that’s something we can change for our countries. That should be the next step, and it the government that should help assist in that area. Too many oil companies reap in profits big time.

  14. Don’t buy oil from arabs!
    As RJ65 stated:
    “Name a single thing in the ad that is not 100% factually correct? “?????

    • It’s the overall premise that Saudis would like to challenge… that because there is a lower standard for human rights compared to Canada or the USA we should not do business with such a country. Sadly, such moral and ethical issues rarely are considered in commerce. Many western countries could turn a blind eye to the lower moral and ethical values apparent in Saudi Arabia and other middle-eastern countries, but the rise of world wide information access and social media is now making these relationships less and less acceptable. It will the be challenge of all middle-eastern countries to follow the moral and ethical ascendance that other western countries have followed or face a future of more cultural and political “springs” that will arise from within these countries (of course, some middle-eastern leaders – political or religious – will argue that the west should be blamed for these populist uprisings).

  15. Believe it, the oil money pays for supression of women, and of course the abuse of women. It also funds madrassa’s for poor muslim’s around the world to be turned into radicals.
    Women have taken a stand, three cheers for the Oprah Canada network!

  16. Pingback: CTV pulls Ethical Oil ad to appease Saudi Arabia « BC Blue: One BC Conservative's view on it all…

  17. I had often thought that back room deals between the Saudi’s and present and past presidents of the United States; ie payouts…Have sold America to the Saudi’s a very long time ago.Look at the way Barack Obama had bowed to that man. Shameful ! I support Ethical Oil all the way !!!

  18. Pingback: Ethical oil’s excellent enemies: Saudi Arabia & Think Progress.


  20. Facts are facts! we should look forward sustainable oil alternatives. why should we buy from the middle east if we got our own??? we are indeed promoting ridiculous monarchy privileges, and of course, women rights oppression!

  21. Facts are facts!! we should be looking forward to sustainable oil alternatives, why should we buy middle east if we got our own. We are just promoting ridiculous islamic monarchy privileges, and of course, womens rights oppression.

    • Sure, thats good thinking (@ sustainable oil alternatives, if that’s actually true. Thing is, I believe they wouldn’t have used such a harsh ad if they could easily sell their oil).

      • The whole point of the video is to move the discussion away from the environmental impact of the oilsand to one about who would you rather be doing business with. Is it more ethical and moral to value human rights over the environment? Personally,, I like the debate it has created, but overall I still see the issues as separate.

      • Will someone please tell Nida that this ad is from a non-profit, non-government organization, not a corporation…

  22. You understand nothing in the international politics, if your government stop consuming oil from Saudi you’ll be found dead at home from hunger and famine.
    You shouldn’t have linked the oil issue with women rights though I absolutely guarantee that you have the basic knowledge about women situation there.
    Did you forget the fucking discrimination against women in Canada, did you ever ask yourself why would women earn money less than man while they are working in same position? did you forget the fucking double stander treatment against homeless people (natives) from Canadians and their government? did you forget……………etc

    repair yourself from inside and then face the most financial power country in the world. And remember the most strong ally for the Saudi Arabia, your uncles in the USA :) funny man.
    Next time we will talk to your uncle (USA) and ask him to take the necessary actions to put your dirt in your mouth hahahaha

    • I agree with you Naif, your country is not perfect but neither is Canada.
      It’s funny how everybody is all up in arms about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia when women in Canada are stalked, controlled, exploited, beaten, sexually assulted, raped, sold and pimped everyday but its ok because they can get a drivers licence and drive? Perhaps Canada should fix it’s own problems before complaining about anothers. And I would really like to know how many of the people here protesting Saudi Oil are biking to work instead of driving? I go to University with many girls from Saudi Arabia who are on a full government scholarship. Now tell me how the Saudi Government is oppressing women when they are paying their tuition and living expenses for them to go overseas to study and get an education? I’d like to see my goverment support women this way. And your right its all international politics. People only see the little picture they have now idea how deep the involvment is with the US.

      • It is the truth Sir/Madam, every country has its won mistakes.
        They have no idea what is going on over there, we have a loyalty for our king, we are satisfied, and that was clear during the revolution inflects in the Arabs world. We supported our government (man and women) and every one can take his/her right. Indeed, I have been here for almost 2 years, got a full scholarship for me and my wife, to do my master and Ph.D, and I have many Canadian friends (girls and boys) and they tell me stories about their situation. I really have a sympathy with them.

        • Excuse me Mr. NAIF, it is people like you that breed the racism in my country, CANADA that is. A place where I, as a woman have been able to make my own decisions without being oppressed by men or some dictator. I am sorry to tell you in this country we have freedom of speech, we are able to speak what we feel, we might not always agree on everything but it is our right as both men and women. I hope once you are done your PHD, that you are planning on leaving. I cannot stand how some of you people come to this country because of all the problems you have in your own and then proceed to defend all the reasons why you left. I hope there is no Canadian taxpayers money involved in funding your education because I would be the first in line to have it revoked. How rude are you, seriously.

          There is not one thing in that video that is not true, we don’t need Saudi Arabia my friend we have oil, and other than oil and sand what exactly does your country contribute to the world.The ignorance of some of you is astounding to me.

          • proud saudi women September 22, 2011 at 00:57

            I’m glade that u have democratic country , but i want to ask one question,,,,

            if ur satisfied in ur country and u have the right to speak, independent, freedom that’s fine .


            Is that dose give u and Canadian the right to involve in others life and dictate to them how they can manage their life and claim their right on behalf without their permission ? is that considered democracy ???? or parasitism????

            Dear ,,as u do, we are proud of our country and we do believe that the initiative would arise from inside via Saudi’s people.

            If do u think that ur money funding our education be asserted nothing for free u have consumed our oil to sustain ur life.

            If u don’t want our oil it’s ur matter, but exploit our internal issues to promote and give publicity to ur oil that is not moral.

            Neither,the way that u have shown ur concern (asd) nor all comments that have been posted are an indication of ur genuine sympathy

            Any way,,,, just to declare that no one has the right to speak up on behalf, and we are the one who decide if we have been oppressed or not.

          • No but it gives us every right to tell the Saudi government to butt out and quit trying to censor free speech in Canada.

          • First of all Proud Saudi Women, I have no problem with you having your own opinion. However there is nothing in this video that is not fact based and true.

            It’s your ignorance of the situation. It’s your government trying to bully my country into censorship, which will never happen. It is none of your business living in Saudi Arabia what goes on here in Canada. I personally don’t care what goes on in your country, but its you that are trying to silence freedom of speech in mine and yes I take offence to that.

            Does this video take away from some of the enviromental issues yes it does, but it makes a valid point. Why should North America purchase oil from a part of the world that incites racism and hatred of the western world. And if this opens our markets for greater profit and prosterity, I am all for it.

            You made the post, which shows progress obviously for you, but if you weren’t willing to take the cristism that comes with speaking out then you should have maybe kept your mouth shut.

            Suck it up buttercup.

          • One thing in this video that is NOT fact based and true is the name of this Greenwashing lobbying institute called “Ethical Oil”. There is nothing ethical about what the tar sand mining companies are doing to northern alberta.

          • ethical compared to the alternative. i read the book and you would be surprised what other oil-producing countries do

          • here is a fact when we take the oil from the sand we also have the cleanest sand in the world. lol

          • So you know, unlike our Canadian government that puts all its students in years of debt. The Saudi government pays tuition and a pretty nice monthly salary to all of its students, men and women! So you can thank them for coming here to Canada. They’re international tuition fees are so high, I can imagine what our tuition fees would be if they were not here studying.

        • You wouldn’t know truth if smacked you in the face. If are not loyal to your King or say anything publicly against the King you would be arrected, tortured and executed, it is the Law where you live. Satisfied… that is just a meaningless word from a dictionary to you. Where do you get your Ph.D? From a Falafel Hut? If you did indeed get a legal Ph.D from a recognized credible University none of the education went to your brain, you are what is called an educated idiot… you have the degree but none of the reasoning ability.

          • i would say you are the educated idiot, you are making racial remarks “Falafel Hut” instead of having anything educated to say what so ever. You can always tell the level of one’s intelligence by if they attack the problem or the person.

          • Passion must be informed by wisdom, grace, and integrity. Otherwise, passion will consume like a wildfire and destroy rather than uplift and enlighten.

      • It is the truth Sir/Madam, every country has its won mistakes.
        They have no idea what is going on over there, we have a loyalty for our king, we are satisfied, and that was clear during the revolution inflects in the Arabs world. We supported our government (man and women) and every one can take his/her right. Indeed, I have been here for almost 2 years, got a full scholarship for me and my wife, to do my master and Ph.D, and I have many Canadian friends (girls and boys) and they tell me stories about their situation. I really have a sympathy with them.

      • Um….as a Canadian woman I can honestly say I don’t know this ‘stalked, raped, pimped’ Canada you are writing about. Born and raised here, never been stalked, raped or pimped? Are you sure you have your geography right?
        Does your wife or girlfriend drive? Is she allowed? I am! Does
        Your wife or girlfriend where a bikini on the beach? I do!! (and no one raped me :)!! Does your wife or girlfriend have a say in financial household matters? I run my house!!! Can your wife or girlfriend tell you to stick it up your a** without being stoned to death? Cause I’m going to !! Come for a visit, bring your better half! She’ll NEVER want to leave!
        PS; woman work in our oil sands and make a crap load!! Yes, more then the men sometimes!!! ITS CALLED EQUALITY!! IT rocks. You should try it!

        • I do live in Canada, as born and raised in Ontario up north. I work in the social services industry. If you think these things do not happen to Canadian women then you are going through life living in this country with blinders on. I guess you are maybe sitting up there living your own priviledge life not knowing what other people are living through. Thats good that you have all of these rights, but the majority of Canadian women don’t. Yes there are laws against it, but the justice system is just as shady as our political one. The point is this is a dirty way to sell a product. Canada isn’t perfect and neither is Saudi Arabia. I know Canada wouldn’t stand for it one minute if andother country made a comerrcial about us like that, highlighting only our bad points. So why should Saudi? Especially when the commercial is not about helping women, it’s about selling oil. If you really care about women, get involved, help them. Don’t just sit there and bash Saudi Arabia, spend your energy getting involved helping all women across this world.

      • Well in Canada we have a Justice system!!!
        Crimes happen everywhere in the world but in developed countries there are consequences for your action that harm others and that is practically the difference between the two.

      • You are joking… right? What planet are you from? Why don’t you go to live in Saudi Arabia… oh wait a minute that is where you are from… NAIF beat you so you would write the lunacy you did.

    • Ah, yes, the tragic plight of the Canadian woman — forced to wear a snow-white quilted burqa, beaten senseless by Mounties on the street for daring to bare too much ankle.

      Ridiculous. Go back home, and if and when you ever crawl out of the Dark Ages, give me a call.

      • Give a call when you wake up buddy and fix your fixed problems.
        We are working very hard to develop our country and as you said, the Dark ages country can control your laws down here.

        Regarding to the silly video above, If you are badly suffering from serious economic problems, tell us through the Saudi embassy and we will give a financial aids as much as we can. Ok. Just be honest and do not link oil issue with another issue (in your opinion) to get a public sympathy for your won financial problems.

        Do not forget, give me a call funny man

      • Give a call when you wake up buddy and fix your fixed problems.
        We are working very hard to develop our country and as you said, the Dark ages country can control your laws down here.

        Regarding to the silly video above, If you are badly suffering from serious economic problems, tell us through the Saudi embassy and we will give a financial aids as much as we can. Ok. Just be honest and do not link oil issue with another issue (in your opinion) to get a public sympathy for your won financial problems.

        Do not forget, give me a call funny man

      • I’ll sir, as soon as you keep your nose in your business, otherwise, we’ll talk to your neighbor in the south :)

        • Hahaha! Are you running an oil pipeline through the US Saudi Arabia? Nope, checkmate! Yes, you should be worried! VERY worried!!

        • Seriously NAIF is that supposed to scare us, you will talk to our neighbor to the south, come on that is laughable to say the least.

          Canada is the biggest trading partner with the USA, where do you think in the huge scope of things the American people’s support would lie. Get over yourself you pompous ignorant ass.

        • Here is a response from one of your neighbors to the south:

          Bush was far too kind to the Saudis and the Pakis, the source of the 9-11 attackers.

          Hopefully, the next time a group of Saudi and Paki terrorists attack the US, the next president will do what he should have done on 9-12, and nuke Saudi Arabia and Pakistan into glass.

          We can drill through slightly radioactive glass to get oil if we have to.

          The next time we have to “talk” to you, we really should be doing it with canned sunshine delivered by SSBN submarines.

        • NAIF and Proud Saudi Woman, I would like to apologize on behalf of all Canadians and Albertans, as one, for all of the passion here misdirected towards ignorance, racism and hatred. I am deeply ashamed of my countrymates and sincerely would like you to forgive us for this assult, this afront, and this abuse.

          • if you’re going to kiss Saudi ass, go move there! I’ll laugh when they lock you up for having an opinion!

    • Said by you ” if your government stop consuming oil from Saudi you’ll be found dead at home from hunger and famine.”

      How do you figure? We, and that means the USA too, does NOT need Saudi oil to survive. If Saudi disappeared tomorrow, Canada still has its oil. We still have our food. It’s a large country that doesn’t need to depend on any other country for its own survival. Unlike Saudi, which does. Without purchasing Saudi oil, it is YOU and YOUR family that will be found dead at home from hunger and famine.

    • Well you certainly know nothing about Canadian Society nor Canadian Women. I have several female friends from Saudi Arabia and several nearby states, from a course I just completed on the Middle East. They confirm everything we believe about Saudi oppression of Women and far more. Your statement alone is confirmation of this. You actually expect anyone to take you seriously nor lend credibility to any of your statements… which are nothing more than Veiled threats because you cannot accept being criticized. This is how you were born and raised to threaten anyone including all your Women with violence, torture and oppression because you were taught that this is acceptable.
      This is who you are and you have completely validated the criticism against you. You have been your own Judge, Jury and Sentencer. This is why we have free speech in Canada, so people like you can freely reveal in your own words the bully and despot you are.

  23. With the pipeline wanting to go down south, talks about a pipeline to our west coast for export, we need this to come east and refined, not just crude to elsewhere. How can we not buy oil from the bullies.

    • Too bad our boys in Ottawa, are afraid to upset Uncle Sam, I agree, we should be building refineries in and across canada! We should make sure that 90% of the jobs created are Canadian and have a long term position!
      I am not over enthused by the small,short term work the building of a pipe line will bring.

  24. Pingback: Anglican Samizdat , Archive » Saudi Arabia VS. Ethical Oil

  25. Pingback: Take your secret Saudi threats and shove ‘em - Act! for Canada

  26. Pingback: Ethical Oil And the Saudis

  27. With the problems created by useing forign oil, it is perhaps time for our government to secure our rights to the new oil found in the Arctic and work with the other western worlds to insure we can not be threatened or bribed by any forign force.
    The Islamists have a poor sence of justice,eaquality and fair play, they are fast becomming a strong political force through-out the western world!
    If the West in general does not become independant of forign oil,we place our selves and our freedoms in jeprody!
    We could find ourselves being blackmailed into aceppting many of their ” Religous Laws”
    Already to day across a number of school boards they have ” negotiated” the right to set up MOSQUES in public schools! This is but the first step!
    Freedom lovers, lovers of equality beware!

    • We celebrate christmas in our public schools do we not? Christmas is a christian religious holiday, it is not a Canadian holiday. In a public school it is just that public, where children of all faiths go to school. No one would have a problem if a christian went out to pray, why is it a big deal when a muslim does? And its not a mosque in a public school, its simply a prayer room.

      • When we deal with this problem as a religious one,we lose the reality of the inequality of this.My statement is simply,we can not seem to accept the inequality of the sexes,in this procedure! My generation has fought hard to reduce and eliminate this inequality,which the schoolboards now appear to accept as all right.Of course we must accomadate all believes, but we must be sure that this accomadation does not belittle the equality laws of our country.

      • NO we do not, we have been forced to take any reference to Christmas out of our schools, we no longer have a Christmas break,it’s winter break, we can not celebrate Christmas in any civic building we now refer to season’s greetings so as not to offend any one of another faith.The Islamic faith does not offend me,what ofends me is the biased interpretations given it, by the hollier than thou Imams!

  28. Was at the water park here in CANADA the other day. The Islamic school pulled up. The students all piled out of their bus. The boys were wearing cool bathing suit shorts. No shirts. The girls were wearing pants and shirts and some had head scarfs on… No bathing suits. It was 27 degrees out…. I didn’t even have to go to the middle east to witness that oppression. Felt bad for those girls.

    • ok so do you have a problem with the middle east, or the islamic religion? Maybe you are just an all around racist. Not everyone in the middle east is a muslim and not all muslims wear hijab. It is a personal, religious choice. If they are here in Canada that is such a free nation that protects its women, what do they ahve to be afraid of if they take it off. If you have such an issue, don’t just sit here typing away on a computer, get involved and start beong involved in change. May I ask, do you only wear and use products made in Canada? Do you walk to work? Grow your own food? There is woman abuse all over this world. And if you disagree with buying Saudi Oil becuase of the way they treat their women, then don’t buy anything that comes from outside your perfect country of Canada. Because women from the majority of place that we import, food, clothing ect. have just as little rights. So before you try to stand up for the women in Saudi I ask you what are you doing for the other women, or are you just being hypocritical because someone flashed a Saudi problem in front of your face for 30 seconds? Besides, you along with many of the others who are chooseing to comment will have forgotten all about this topic in a weeks time and go back to buying oil from wherever. Its just your hot topic of the week. And so you know I am not a muslim and I am not from the middle east.

  29. Article rank 21 Sep 2011 National Post – (Latest Edition) Postmedia News
    Canada ranks third-best country in the world to be a woman
    Canada is the third-best country in the world to be a woman, according to rankings compiled by U.S. website Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Canada trails only Iceland at No. 1 and second-place Sweden, and is also the only non-European country in the top seven. The United States is eighth. The makers of these rankings gave Canada an overall score of 96.6 out of a possible 100. In the major categories judged, the country earned a full 100 points on justice, 92.7 on health, 92 on education, 91 on economics and 66.9 on politics. Newsweek said that Canada’s “female representation in government lags behind.” The African country of Chad was deemed the worst country to be a woman. “Women have almost no legal rights in Chad and most marriages are arranged when girls are 11 or 12,” the website said. Afghanistan, where Canada recently ended about a decade of military combat, was deemed the secondworst country to be a woman.

  30. A well-done Ad I must admit. These are facts that must be considered. Why should we be so concerned about a despotic nation such as Saudi Arabia? We have no need of them considering we have enough reserves for ourselves and for our neighbour to the south. The Saudis only concern is for themselves, nothing else. It is about time that we, as Canadians, start supporting our own. We have the resources, the strength and the expertise to become self-sufficient. I applaud Prime Minister Harper and his Ministers for pushing the Canadian agenda but they need to do more. Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

  31. This is nice.
    So why don’t we just stop importing oil from OPEC? roughly 50% of all oil consumed in Canada is imported from OPEC countries.

    Why don’t we just block all investments by OPEC nations in Canada

    Don’t be a pussy man. If you are going to stand up for women’s rights then go all the way.

    • Your numbers are rather off. In the USA, somewhat less than 50% of oil is imported. The number one source of those imports on a by country basis is Canada.(followed by Mexico and Saudi Arabia in a close second place).

      Canadian imports of oil are about 20% of total, most of which end up in Eastern Canada. While some comes from arabic countries, the majority is from Norway and South America.

      The Alberta oilsands have the reserves and capacity to completely replace the amount of oil imported into the US from Saudi Arabia.

  32. Pingback: Pot Calls Kettle Black: Saudi Government Sues Over Canadian Ethical Oil Ads | Green Living

  33. I wonder who the current Canadian clients of Norton Rose are and how they feel about having attorneys working for them that are advocating for Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship? I personally would not want to do have anything to do with them. Its a free country here I suppose where you are allowed free speech, and we are also free to disassociate ourselves from the forces that support stone age theocracies.

  34. I wonder who the current Canadian clients of Norton Rose are and how they feel about having attorneys working for them that are advocating for Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship? I personally would not want to do have anything to do with them. Its a free country here I suppose where you are allowed free speech, and we are also free to disassociate ourselves from the forces that support stone age theocracies.

  35. Pingback: ANDREW BOSTOM: TO REMOVE A TICK……. |

  36. I have posted this on my FB and would suggest everyone else to do the same, except NAIF of course. It’s a great/fast way for Canadian’s to inform others.

  37. Saudi Arabia only banned slavery in 1964, yet they still practice it.

    Just one of the horrors that this Islamist Wahhabidom perpetrated includes the burning of a girl’s school with the pupils locked inside by their religious state police, for the crime of not wearing burkas:

    Jews are banned from entering Saudi Arabia. As well, no non-Islamic religious literature or ornaments are allowed into the country.

    Saudi Arabia exports violent, racist and criminal Wahhabi literature, mosques, schools and preachers throughout the world with the money gained from conflict oil.

    The whole truth of this vile country and others like it must be told.

    Then perhaps the world will respond to their utter lack of humanity and perpetual oil black mail with a wheat embargo.

    • “Saudi Arabia only banned slavery in 1964, yet they still practice it.”
      Good point but we should also remember that in 1964 sodomy was still a criminal offense in Canada. I don’t make this point to be cynical or critical but indeed the opposite. It is an indication that societies can advance – even the most repressive – which is what we in the West should be prodding the Saudi Arabias of the world to do. Aside from promoting Canadian Oil Sands “Ethical Oil Org” does just that and the fact that the Saudi officials are writhing in anger is a sure sign of just how effective the campaign has been so far.

      • Just to clarify your comments. Under Sharia, a married woman doesn’t own her own body rights. If her husband demands sex, she has to drop everything and provide. Read it in the Koran and Hadiths. And, that includes sodomy. Just ask any foreign doctor or nurse who has worked in Saudia’s hospitals who will tell you about all the women who now wear colostomy bags because of forced anal intercourse or damaged colons/rectums. Saudi Arabia’s royalty will never voluntarily give up their control over the subsidized “prison” with no free speech they have created for their citizens. There is no free speech, public gathering, young men can’t even enter the malls alone or with friends. They have to be with their family. The Muslims have learned to use our court systems and free speech laws against us and they have lots of money for attornies and long court battles. What do you use for leverage against them? They don’t care if we know they abuse their people. Do you understand why only one man showed up for the Saudi Arab Spring? They were all scared to death to show up. I’ve spoken to a few Saudi’s about it. They either said you’d have to be crazy to go or they made justifications about why they didn’t go. That one Saudi man who showed up in the square that day and dared to talk to the media has since then disappeared into the bowls of the Saudi prisons and his family hasn’t heard anything else about him since that “spring” day.

  38. Pingback: Ticked off Saudis threaten legal action over “ethical oil” ad | Ottawa Citizen Blogs

  39. I’m really tired of hearing how bad the Oil Sands are, especially when it’s Canadians saying it. As well, I’m sick of hearing how green energy (wind and solar) is gonna be our salvation. Wind Turbines and Solar Panels are not only the least efficient ways to produce electricity but are also, by far, the most expensive. Kinda makes you wonder how the average family will pay for it.
    But let’s get back to the Oil Sands. It is the largest employer of “Native Canadians” in the country (directly and indirectly). Many of whom make six figure salaries. The taxes from the Oil Sands are in the BILLIONS each year. These BILLIONS help pay for all the neat things we have here in our GREAT NATION; health care, education, various infrastructure, just to name a few. Not only does it employ many aboriginals but also tens of THOUSANDS of Canadians, (directly and indirectly), from the Maritimes to British Columbia. So, should we just ask the Oil Companies to fold up their tents and go home, oh, and tell those tens of thousands of people that they no longer have a job, oh yeah, and that they can no longer take care of their families needs?
    Time for a reality check people. Like it or not we need oil. Practically everything we buy is transported by airplanes, trains and trucks, all of which run on oil. And except for a very few diehards, who use bicycles, the vast majority use automobiles to get around. OK, there are a few Hybrids, but they have a long way to go before they will be viable alternative for most people. Even the phony “Mr. Climate Change”, Al Gore, flies all around the world in his private jet. And if even he was genuinely concerned about the polar caps melting and the oceans rising, why did he buy an ocean – front mansion in California?
    It’s time for all of this “Global Warming” nonsense to end. Even those who are proponents of this unscientific tripe don’t practice what they preach. Besides, real science doesn’t support it. Even NASA has come out against it. Excess Carbon Dioxide escapes into outer space. And if I remember my grade five science, Carbon Dioxide is plant food, necessary for Oxygen production.
    Finally, the bottom line regarding the Ethical Oil ad, has less to do the with Oil Sands or women’s rights than it has to do with a foreign power, the theocratic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia in this case, trying to influence, and even subjugate, one of OUR basic freedoms. They may be one of the wealthiest countries but, in all other measureable ways, they don’t even come close to CANADA, one of the top three countries to live in. Just to be clear, I have no problem with people coming to live in Canada, from anywhere. What I have a problem with are those who want to come here and not become a CANADIAN. If you don’t like what CANADA is or who CANADIANS are then just don’t bother coming here.

    • Sorry pal. Human induced climate change is the most scientifically supported theory since the Earth was proven to be round.
      There is too much carbon based fuel being wastefully consumed overloading the natural cycle with CO2. Sure plants use it, but we drink water and we sure as hell can drown. That is what is happening with carbon dioxide.
      No one expects us to stop using oil completely, but we need to use a lot, lot less. We can find alternate sources of energy from wind and solar that can actually be cheaper than what is coming from fossil fuel.
      I would rather have “ethical oil” for 100 years than cheap oil for 25.

  40. NAIF next time could you please try saying that in english. I read that shit ten times and still have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, how can you tell someone else to repair themselves from the inside when you’re the closed minded racist who assumes all homeless people are Natives. Get fucked, you arragont yankee cunt.

  41. Good for you Alykhan! Canada should not bow down to the fear mongering tactics of ethically corrupt foreign regimes!

  42. Pingback: Jihad judiciaire: L’Arabie saoudite menace de poursuivre les réseaux de TV canadiens qui diffusent une pub critiquant le sort des femmes saoudiennes

  43. The real story in all this is not the Saudi regime defending the ill-gotten interests of it’s fanatical theocratic State.

    Nope, the real issue at hand is learning exactly what kind of law firm Norton Rose is to even accept a case such as this and what sort of journalistic integrity CTV exactly lacks for cowering from such a bogus lawsuit.

    I wonder what other unethical cases around the world Norton Rose pursues solely for financial gain and what other issues being brought forth by independent groups across the political spectrum that CTV is actively censoring from the Canadian public?

    I doubt this is some isolated case for either party.

    If we really want to champion the rights of the persecuted in not only Saudi Arabia but all the rest of the world’s Hell holes then citizens of the free world will have more influence and power to neuter third world dictators by boycotting organisations who abuse their power to protect and advances the interests of these despots.

    Organisations like Norton Rose and CTV and their customers and advertisers.

  44. I am by no means an apologist for Corporations. In fact in the past I’ve had a lot of criticisms of things they do, especially the financial sector, who drove our economy over a cliff back in 2008. Certainly I would never be so foolish as to advocate they not be allowed to carry out their business, as Darryl hannah an other domonstrators seem to believe. That would be ludicrous, except to the most delusional of enviros. ( Insert photo of Hannah here.)

    The usual shrill, half-baked complaints from eco-nuts like Darryl Hannah probably will have little or no affect on either the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, or the continued production of “Tar Sands” oil for Canadian and American consumers.

    This move away from middle east oil actually began in America during the second Bush administration. Remember the debate over the ue of a small part of ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? The prime reason President Bush pushed that idea was to lessen America’s economic impact from fluctuations in the world spot price for crude oil. Thw same whiny, tree-hugging mob opposed that as well. The result: America is more dependant on unfriendly or unethical producers of oil that they ever were. I fail to understand why a small minority like the ecos get so much media coverage on television. (Canada’s Green party polled just 3.9% nationally in the recent 2011 election, well below their 2008 level of 6.8%.) What do people like Hannah thinkwe should use to heat our homes: Di-lithium crystals? The trouble with eco-nuts is that we actually pay atttention to them and give their dopey little protests air time on the six-o’clock news. How can you tell when enviro are stretching the truth to suit their slightly bent environmental agendas? Answer: their lips move!

    Certainly the term “Ethical Oil” is mostly Sun Petroluem’s attempt at rebranding the “tar sands” oil in the most favourable light to Canadians and Americans who are likely to use it to heat their homes or drive their cars. Sun’s opponents claim producing tar sands oil creates CO2 emissions several times higher that Saudi oil. But emissions during extraction and refining are just two environmental aspects, they are not the entire equation. What about human factors like the high wages paid in Fort MacMurray, compared to the few bucks a Nigerian oil worker makes. Or the deplorable way Saudi men treat women, gays, minorities. How come the redical left isn’t protesting about that? Do they have selective vision when it comes to issues like oil and pipelines. And what doe they think powered the airplanes and cars that brought them to their rallies? I’ll guaranteee you it wasn’t wind or solar power.

    Irrespective of the issue of how clean or dirty the petroleum is from the Oil Sands, or any other source, I find it offensive that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can simply hire a legal firm and threaten legal action action to stop the airing of a TV commercial in Canada. Sun Petroleum has every right to advertize as they see fit here in Canada, regardless of what dictators like Chavez or the Saudi King think. Maybe they should sue the Saudi King and we’ll see how it plays out in court.

    I hope Canadian TV networks and major radio news stations have the guts to join together in oppostion to this highhanded legal action and stand up for freedom of expression in Canada. I hope the federal govenment also has the courage to stand up for our collective right to not be harassed by the mega-oil, billionaire chauvanist bullies of the middle east. This is an issue of sovreignty and it is worth fighting for!

    Douglas M, Surrey, BC

  45. Pingback: Ethical Oil « Newsbeat1

  46. As usual, NOW could not be reached for comment. Regarding the atrocities against Muslim females and the double standard of the NOW crowd and their selective outrage, I’m interested in a response. Anyone? (cue the crickets).

  47. Yeah gosh would not want FOREIGN INTERFERENCE in domestic politics right? How is it that any criticism of ISRAEL IS SQUASHED??? How many Canadian universities have been told they will lose their funding for having any discussions on the Israeli Boycott and Divestment program? How about the Rachel Corries play in Toronto that was cancelled due to pressure from Israeli groups? Hey Stephen Harper how goes the Canadian Israeli Political Action Committee??? Free Speech – as long as it bashes muslims and NEVER Israel, right???

  48. K.A

    I am a Canadian and I believe that nobody has any right to interfer of other country’s tridition. If Israel asked Canada to stop the ad because it anti semetic, all Canada bows to them and kiss their feet for forgiveness. Canada is just jelouse of Saudis have so much oil. Just don’t put your noses in other country’s lifestyle. What Canada do if Saudi Arabia or any other country critisize the gay marraige? Wouldn’t they be upset. When you talk about one man’s testemony equals to two women’s testemony, it is true and this a law from God, but who’s to talk to, in Canada everything is allowed, adultry, alcohol, homo(against nature), Drugs etc.. that is why there is crime and distroyed homes. Not forget, lawyers there makes the guilty innocent and the innocent guilty. Talk about Israel who are and have always been inhumain against Palestians but when it comes to Palestinians, Muslims or Rabs it Ok to kill them and humiliate. NO SIR, now it is different, wake up.

    • “When you talk about one man’s testemony (sic) equals (sic) to two women’s testemony, (sic) it is true and this a (sic) law from God”

      Then your minor deity is a misogynist and a bigot.

      As religious thugs such as yourself speak out, all you do is add more proof to the argument of banning unethical oil from these tyrannical, fascist countries that share your views.

      As well, it appears you stand against Canadian values. Please do us a favour and reconsider your location.

    • The majority of your statements have no bearing in fact,and are totally unrelated to the issue at hand.Canada has an abundance of oil that needs yet to be exploited; but because we care about the consequences to the aboriginals and the invironment in general, we are developing these fields slowly and with great caution.Remember when some leader believes he talks for his god,he is generally an egomaniac and leaves his people without hope,without promise, without a future and very little if any personale freedom! Can people have too much freedom? Possably,but there is a voice in the majority of us that causes the whole to return to a tried and true fundamental limit “of one’s own freedom” without trying to force this on every one else.That is the freedom I cherish!

    • You are brainwashed about the Palestinians by the liberal, progressive media who has rewritten the true history. Did you know that since 1948, the Palestinians turned down, 3 (three) times the right to have their own independent country next to Israel with free trade with Israel.? Did you know that after the Ottoman Empire collasped after WWI and the British Mandate created Palestine for Jews to being to return, that the Arabs living in Palestine refused to be called Palestinians or be associated with the name Palestine. They called it a Zionist plot against them. So much for the great Palestinian civilization that has lived in Israel forever. And, any arab, circassian, armenian, jew, catholic, etc… who had been living in Palestine and could prove it was given the Israeli passport. It was the arabs who had come to Israel from the surrounding arab countries to work in the big Israeli farms and could not prove they had lived in Palestine who did not get the Israeli passport. Also, in the Partition/Mandate, the country of TransJordan was created for any arabs in Israel to go and live in but the Hashimite royality neogiated their way of that responsibility. TransJordan become Jordan. Learn the real history and don’t listen to Arafat’s fantasy and the rewritten history. The day after Israel was reborn in 1948, five arab countries attacked Israel. They told arabs living in Palestine/Israel to leave their homes because the arab army was going to push Israel into the sea. Well, the arabs lost and they lost land, too. And, those arabs lost their homes in a war. The arabs made promises they couldn’t keep. The arabs made two more wars against Israel and lost more land. The arabs have been attacking Israel ever since with missles and kids with bombs on them.. Why can’t the Israeli’s defend themselves. Don’t get all your info from a biased news system and rewritten history. Learn the real history please.

  49. AWESOME! The Canadians show huge balls while Americans are still kissing the Saudi’s asses. I may have to move North and start drinking Fosters (or Moosehead). GO CANADA!!!

  50. Good for ethical oil. It is about time we start telling the environazi’s and the terrorist loving animals of this world that they are wrong and we don’t support them. I am not the least bit interested in doing business with these thugs and killers. Keep up the good work Ezra. Your voice is a breath of fresh air. It is about time people start speaking up against this nonsense. Why would anyone agree with the Saudi’s or want to do business with them. Obama is a fool who apparently lacks the ability to think independantly.

  51. And the ethical investments. I guess for Mr. Velshi, it is ethical to recieve several billions from China.

    China invests billions in Canada oil sands
    “Chinese firms are rushing to snap up Canadian oil sands resources and invest in ongoing projects – to the tune of $15 billion in the past 18 months in Alberta alone”

    So, it is not ethical to buy oil from a Middle East dictatorship but receive money or investments from China, it is ethical and ok. Following this argument, we should ask oil companies to stop the deals and limit Chinese investments in Canada’s oil sands because this country does not respect Human Rights. Maybe from there are two standards of Human Rights in Canada: one for Saudi Arabia and one for China. Ridiculous

    Please stop all investments from unethical countries.

    • Sparky_atomic_kitten September 25, 2011 at 18:59

      I never said it was ok to take money from China…….I don’t think we should be doing business with oppressive nations…..look at Venezuela…they use forced labour

    • Politicians must be the most near sited of all humans, why do we not have laws prohibiting controling interests of our natural resources by forign powers?

  52. Realistic Canadian September 24, 2011 at 03:32

    The “ethical” oil seems to be a very controversial issue.

    It is true the Saudi regime lacks democracy and Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have expressed concern about the state of human rights in this kingdom.

    I hope this situation will help to improve human rights not only in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but in all Middle East.

    Canada should review its oil’s policy, especially regarding the environmental protection and who is investing in the Canadian oil sands resource. is asking to stop buying oil from “foreign dictatorships that neither understand nor respect the rights of women or freedom of speech” but here lies the contradiction:

    * Canadian oil companies are accepting investments from a foreign dictatorship.

    According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch the Chinese government restricts the freedoms of speech, movement and religion of its citizens.

    So, it is not ethical to buy oil from a Middle East dictatorship but receive money or investments from China, it is ethical and ok. Following this argument, we should ask oil companies to stop the deals and limit Chinese investments in Canada’s oil sands because this country does not respect Human Rights. Maybe from there are two standards of Human Rights in Canada: one for Saudi Arabia and one for China. Ridiculous

    Please stop all investments from unethical countries.

    China invests billions in Canada oil sands
    “Chinese firms are rushing to snap up Canadian oil sands resources and invest in ongoing projects – to the tune of $15 billion in the past 18 months in Alberta alone”

    China Eyes Alberta Oil Sands Investment
    “the focus of the talks has undoubtedly centered on Chinese investment in the Alberta oil sands, which in the past 2 years has topped $13 billion dollars from the likes of energy giants Sinopec Corp. (NYSE:SNP), CNOOC Ltd, and PetroChina Co, Ltd. This already substantial foray into Canada’s Northwest may be just the tip of the iceberg”

    How about Environmental ethic, there are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment:

    Should we continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption?
    What environmental obligations do we need to keep for future generations?
    Is it right for humans to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convenience of humanity? does not say anything about environmental protection. Therefore, this is an opportunity to demand a holistic approach to business ethics in the oil industry.

    The goal is to achieve corporate sustainability in order to create a green strategy aimed towards the natural environment, but taking into consideration every dimension of how operates in the social, cultural, and economic environment.

    • It is sad but true, we do not have the luxury to wait for Canadian investment to open the tar sands to their full potential.
      We must however proceed with caution and a close eye on environmental and native questions.
      We as a country have some pretty tough invironmental laws and some pretty tough native protection and welfare rules and regulations, hopefully what ever shortcommings are present in these rules and laws, can be hi lighted by a sane and intellegent green peace.
      Let green peace return to it’s roots, and resprout the branches of respect it once had, before the “HEADLINE HUNTERS” destroy the potential for good that it can do!
      There is little man can do in nature; that is not destructive, the goal there fore must be to examine our present method and show without bias the damage that is caused, then give reasonable alternative methods that can only improve as time moves on.We fool no one if we have a hope to put the many genies back in the bottle, if we protest on a plank of strictly NO!
      Protest the method with an alternative way. Natural rescources must be developed, pipe lines, roads and subdivisions must be built, cultures change with the advent of new tecknologies, cultures that are strong unto themselves will survive.

  53. Pingback: Free Speech In Canada -Saudis No Likey | Rctlfy's Blog

  54. Racism, nationalism, sexism, and religious pride all feed these stupid fires you people feel obligated to light. If you really care act. Freedom of speech does not exist in the way you are all presenting it. People can say whatever they like, but it is also another man or woman’s right to respond however they choose. If the country you are verbally denouncing doesn’t like what you are saying- don’t call it censorship; realize that it is their reaction to the freedom you have just exorcised and just as much their right to respond in the manner they have chosen. Regardless, it seems to me that the issue at hand is you Canadians who have posted are in some way attempting to convey to the rest of the world that you wont be told what to do. No real person cares. Be mad at the U.S., and be mad at Saudi Arabia, but at the same time- be mad at yourselves for not doing anything about it except for posting on a forum on a website supporting your proposed cause. Perhaps you should write to someone that matters, and you have that’s fantastic; good for you.

  55. What’s with this ‘dictatorship’ bull. I do believe that the Saudis
    Head of State is a ‘KING’… And the last time I looked, Canada
    has a Head of State named Queen Elizabeth II. If you stupid
    Canadians would just dump this old Queen then maybe someone
    would give a damn about your opinion about anything.

    • Again the difference is in the actual power of the King as opposed to the figure head of the Queen! Refer to” primeminister” of England.

  56. Love your ad, it made a difference to Saudi Women ,in my opinion.The Saudi King just gave the right to Saudi Women to vote. I will give you credit to what you do, it will open more window to free some prisoner or slave women in the Middle East.God Bless

    • Before we celabrate this new found freedom, let’s be sure what calender this king was refering to, I believe the aribic calender is in year 1432, did he mean that by 2012 of this calender? women would beable to vote, or by our calender?

  57. Ethical Oil. What a joke. You boys overstepped your bounds this time. Greenwashing at its best. Ethical Oil. Best laugh I’ve had all week. Too bad you were so blatent this time. Thanks for the extra sharp new tool for my tool kit.

  58. Pingback: Le Chialeux De Salon » Blog Archive » Le baril de la dispute

  59. Pingback: The Ad Saudi Arabia Wants to Stop You From Seeing — 1389 Blog – Counterjihad!

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  61. Lets get to the point we buy no oil from Saudi Arabia. Also Canadian Government needs to put in a policy that no foriegn country can purchase any Canadian oil fields, sands etc. We need to keep our resources ours and build our country to be strong and free forever.

  62. Pingback: Bashing Saudi Arabia's 'Conflict Oil'

  63. Since when did we give a damn about the treatment of Saudi women ?

    All of a sudden now we have to care…in order to line the pockets of some executives with extra cash? This marketing ploy is BS. So go ahead and dig up Northern Alberta for economic gain. I can understand that argument even if I do not agree with it. But don’t give me this “lame” ethical excuse for doing it.

  64. We should really stop using oil. Mgarrison32 probably works for an oil company. We should begin to completely phase out oil no later than now and have oil use gone by 2100- and that’s conservative, too.

  65. ouchh the canadian oil industry must be really hurting, see some jealous lumberjacks
    at the end of the day canada has the highest rape cases after the US ( no wonder since they are Americans Wannabes! ) u guys should leave this alone since other nations don’t care about what you saying, have a nice day filing your taxes forms :)

      “Canada has the 2nd highest number of rape cases after the US.” Have you considered that the reason for this is that in Canada a man is not allowed to rape his wife? That is a crime here, unlike in Saudi. If you want to consider the incidence rate of a crime between cultures you have to also consider the definition of that crime in both cultures, a subtly that clearly has escaped you.

  66. Hydrocarbons are a perfect substitute for one another; i.e. a barrel of oil is a barrel of oil. The global market spot price is unaffected by the source, notwithstanding transport infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is in place, the source cannot be feasibly or reasonably differentiated for the end user. Eventually, the economics will drive the consumer to the least cost source – ethics be damned.

  67. Are you really serious that Saudi Woman can not drive a car to the polling booth, park their car and then vote?

  68. Saudi state oil company Aramco has 50% ownership of one of the main upgraders that the bitumen will be sent to through Keystone XL. Therefore, the Saudi regime and all that you claim to abhor, will be directly financed by the tar sands and Keystone pipeline. How can you claim to be against Saudi oil and Saudi policy, while exporting huge amounts of bitumen to a Saudi state owned upgrader? Can you explain how that makes any sense because I am stumped.

    • If that is stumping you then you have a very limited ability to think critically. The difference, for the Saudis, between selling their Oil and getting less than 50% of processing income(after all not all the bitumen will go to that specific upgrader) would be devastating. If you cannot understand what income shrinkage does to any government then you not only cannot think critically, but you have no imagination either.

      • I am calling into question the validity of the argument that one reason to push the Keystone pipeline forward, is to deny Saudi Aramco revenue, which eventually makes its way into the hands of evildoers.

        Pushing bitumen to Saudi-invested upgraders provides them with income. How much income? At what rate of return, compared to their conventional fields? I do not claim to know that. You imply that you have certain knowledge that Aramco makes more money selling its own barrels of crude, than upgrading bitumen, for whatever it invests in the project. Why then, would they invest in foreign upgraders at all, if they can make “devastatingly” higher profits at home?

        If the Saudis are investing in foreign oil infrastructure, maybe it is because it returns them high profits. Maybe it is to have control over global oil, at lower profits. Maybe it is to diversify their holdings, maybe a combination of all of these.

        My point is:
        *** Knowingly partnering with a Saudi oil company to upgrade Alberta bitumen, is not consistent with a message that Saudi oil company is BAD, and we shouldn’t deal with them ***

        Saying that we are “devastating” the Saudis by letting them upgrade Alberta oil instead of Americans buying Saudi oil, is analogous to:
        - selling your brand of computer, on a market campaign based on IBM being an evil company
        - giving IBM a contract to support them

        Either deal with the ‘evil’ entity, or don’t. Don’t tell everyone ELSE not to deal with them, and then enter into a mutually dependent business relationship, for example extracting and upgrading oil together.

        P.S. This may surprise you, but personal insults don’t make your argument appear more intelligent or compelling.

        • I can’t say that I’ve ever considered pointing out the obvious to be insulting. I don’t insult rain by pointing out that it is wet.

          However you do raise an semi-valid point. You are correct this will not deny all possible oil revenue to Saudi. However it will deny them a significant amount, which is a vast improvement over the current situation. If you think the Saudi’s do not see the potential revenue loss as severe, what do you think the the nice lawyers were hired for?

          The primitive nature of Saudi society has been pointed out before, with no legal reactions. Quite frankly they do not care what we think of them, so long as we buy oil. This campaign however threatens what they do care about, Oil Revenue, which explains the lawyers.

          You seem to be one of those people that do not see sense in making progress on a problem unless you can completely solve the problem in one step. Unfortunately real world problems are not amiable to solution via instant gratification.

          • I am not against the Keystone XL pipeline. I am not against piping bitumen to the Saudi upgrader.

            I support the Oil Sands in Alberta, although I am one of those people who believes that there is a lot of mitigation of the environmental negatives to do, and a slower pace of development might be appropriate, if it guarantees more of a future for the oil sands and long term acceptance by the world.

            I most certainly DO NOT believe that the way to increase support for Alberta’s oil sands, is this protectionist, anti-global, us vs. them campaign to try to boost our product and detract from theirs.

            We want to play on the global oil scene, with the big boys like Saudi/Aramco, great, I am all for it. Promote the product, and attack the competition, if that’s what you want to do.

            But using a political correctness campaign against the competition, only works, if you have an elevated ethical position and can show that you are consistent. If you are hypocritical in your dealings, and not consistent with your politically correct message, then you are better off not relying on the P.C. media campaign as your tool, as it will backfire.

            Saying “Saudi/Aramco is evil” and then dealing with them behind closed doors, is a foolish strategy. Ethical Oil, as a concept, is foolish, if it tries to pit environmental concerns against women’s rights. Telling people they have to CHOOSE one or the other, is silly. If the oil sands are a justifiable project, then it does not befit us to stoop to name-calling and dubious claims. It does not look dignified to keep apologizing and justifying when in my opinion, there is nothing to defend, or apologize for.

            The rain is wet, just like I can not think critically, and have no imagination. Thanks for stating the obvious, there is nothing insulting in your tone at all. Keep at er.

          • I’m actually trying to be polite to you, if I wasn’t words similar to “*********** *****” would be in my posts.

            Here it is in point form, maybe this format will work.

            1) The campaign is not a “politically correct” campaign, it is a politically incorrect campaign. Being Politically correct is ignoring those bothersome moral and ethical issues to get what you want/need.

            2) If I have $100 to buy a product that I must (heavy emphasis on must) have and I have two choices. The first choice is the guy down the road, can’t say I’d want to live anywhere near him but hey he’s sold product for decades. The second choice is someone across the street, whom I happen to like and we share common values. I don’t know about you, but choice 2 is clearly superior.

            3) You are correct, you can’t make people choose. Having said that it would idiotic to not at least let people know that they have a choice now. Do you live in a world where products that do not advertise succeed? I sure don’t. The other side of the coin is the fact that the oil sands are competing against not simply financial pressure but against political pressure, or do you not believe that the Saudi’s have a plethora of lobbyists in Washington?

            4) I have never characterized Saudi Arabia as being “evil”. I have said that their society is primitive, and I stand by that. In the same manner that there is no sense in getting upset when rain is wet, there is no sense in getting upset when a medieval society acts as a medieval society. That does not mean that I want to live there, not do I condone their rules. I do not however make the mistake of thinking they are “evil”.

            So what exactly is the downside to a Canadian company using Politically Incorrect(read “honest”) advertising to promote choice? True they did not explain every detail of the oil industry. That would be a tall order for any commercial. They did however show that there is a choice, and provide at least one reason for making that choice. That is what effective advertising is about.

            P.S. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly enjoying the irony of this situation. OPEC, and only OPEC, made the oil sands economically feasible.

          • This IS a political correctness based campaign. The statement is: “It is politically correct to support women’s rights, by boycotting Saudi oil, and choosing Ethical Oil instead.” It is using the concept of what is politically the right and wrong choice, to market itself, just like every so-called green company does. What is unusual, is that it is oil companies and not Greenpeace using this strategy, but it is all clearly classic P.C. strategy.

            When you decide to play that game, you had better have your house in order. This statement:

            “It is politically correct to support women’s rights, by boycotting Saudi oil, and/or choosing Ethical Oil instead. Try to ignore the fact that the Ethical Oil will be upgraded by a Saudi company, that the main companies working in the oil sands have major holdings and projects in dictatorships and “conflict oil” all over the world, and some of the most brutal regimes in the world (e.g. China) have major holdings in the oil sands.”

            The HONEST statement, is that ALL oil is dirty business, in light of conflict, human rights, political correctness, and ethics. It is a globalized industry. Every company can not, and should not, have to justify what its customers, partners, citizens, etc. do as if it has to be perfectly clean. It’s not a clean business, but we need the product more than we care about the ethics, plain and simple.

            The only thing I am arguing against here, is the long-term success of a campaign like Ethical Oil. Claiming that our oil is cleaner/better/more ethical is so full of counter arguments, it will backfire. This lame attempt by big-money interests at a “viral” type campaign, posting 2 paid people in costumes outside LUSH and calling it a “protest”, it is all so obvious to everyone, stupid and lame.

            When the “big guy” tries to look grassroots, contriving websites and slogans and trying to confuse the source of the campaign with trendy media, language, and an attempt to look folksy in origin, and NO ONE gets behind it on the ground, in my opinion it is just embarrassing. I don’t want MY province, industry, and resource to be stooping to this kind of retardedness.

          • For once we actually agree on something. “All oil is dirty business”.

            What you fail to realize, and never will since you seem to be invested in ignoring it, is switching to the oil sands is an improvement, and not just for big oil.

            The “right” thing happens rarely in this world. I have yet to see the “right” thing happen for the “right” reason, and I’m not going to start holding my breath now. Instead when I see the right thing happening, I simply enjoy it for it is.

            Ah well you seem to have a good understanding of the Oil Business, hopefully your understanding of business, politics, and change strategies will come up to the same level at some point in the future.

          • I notice you preface every argument, and try to conclude every statement you make, with some way that my thinking, business acumen, attitude, etc etc is inferior to yours.

            I prefer to stick to the topic at hand. In my opinion, resorting to personal attacks demonstrates insecurity in your arguments, and emotional and hysterical bias.

            My advice to you is this: if your argument is good, then let it stand on its merit. To parenthesize every statement with a personal attack, is a sign of weakness.

            There is a term in the business world for the type of marketing strategy that Ethical Oil presents, and you support. It is called “astroturfing”: trying to initiate or imitate a grassroots movement, top-down by corporations and interests that want to combat a grassroots movement, by fooling its audience into believing that it is authentic.

            This style of campaign simply does not work. You may have faith in it, and believe it will get the industry somewhere; I do not. That is where we disagree, and that is your right.

            I do not call into doubt your intelligence, reasoning, obstinacy, etc; but I do recommend that if you find yourself in a serious situation in business, politics, or any other forum where your arguments matter: if you spend more time calling people names, making personal attacks and insulting other speakers’ intelligence, than you do making lucid and calm points in support of your viewpoint, then you will never be taken seriously. Yes this is the Internet and you can say whatever you want on this page without any result, I only hope for your sake that you don’t take this approach in your own business.

            And yes, I enjoy the irony of pointing this out to you, instead of just leaving you alone to your mud slinging and being the better man :) it has been fun after all, and this is just the internet. Have a good one!

          • I wonder if we can get down to single characters soon?

            This was fun. It was enjoyable “talking” to you. You last post was certainly the best thus far.

            Now back to our regularly scheduled topic.

            It is called astroturfing, by people that oppose the message. As with all things perspective will determine how you react to an message. If you support the message then you will be receptive. If you strongly oppose the message you will voice your disagreement. Either case accomplishes the goal of the campaign which is create a buzz and generate a debate. Your strong opposition, and my support for the message combined with our interaction here prove that far from your claim that astrotrufing fails, that it is in fact successfull, if your intent is to generate debate and raise awareness. If you intent is to promote long term change, then no they do now work.

            The success of a campaign can only be measured against it’s goals. I suspect that the goal of this campaign was to generate interest and awareness, in which case it has succeeded.

            Not withstanding the success or failure of the campaign, and notwithstanding your personal, and clearly stated, objections to the campaign, can you sincerely state that it would make no difference to you from either a moral or a financial perspective to see less North American money sent to Saudi Arabia?

  69. Saudi state oil company Aramco has 50% ownership of one of the main upgraders that the bitumen will be sent to through Keystone XL. Therefore, the Saudi regime and all that you claim to abhor, will be directly financed by the tar sands and Keystone pipeline. How can you claim to be against Saudi oil and Saudi policy, while exporting huge amounts of bitumen to a Saudi state owned upgrader? Can you explain how that makes any sense because I am stumped.

  70. Here’s a fresh reply so that we’re not on a single character :)

    Do you seriously think that this website, and its articles, are a community-driven phenomenon? That the ridiculous LUSH “protest” was a genuine political outrage, in a grassroots sense?

    Or do you think this Website, the Ethical Oil media campaign, and all of the attempts herein to try to look like a community-driven social media sites, are instead the work of a very limited number of authors being sponsored by corporate and government entities, to try to imitate a grassroots style, to manipulate public opinion by fictitiously representing “joe public”?

    Obviously it is the second. Obviously, this entire website, all of the media messages, campaign, are a corporate entity(s) trying to appear to be a grassroots movement. The money paying the site designers and hosts, writers, and “protesters” is coming from somewhere undisclosed, the sponsors are not speaking as themselves but instead creating a fictitious mouthpiece and hoping that people believe the fiction.

    Hence, “astroturfing”. It is not relative to your personal politics. It is done by entities both on the right and left. I would call lots of the Obama campaign astroturfing for example. I don’t object to it outright, as we all have the right to advertise creatively. But I don’t agree that it’s accomplishing its goals by encouraging dialogue. Throughout the mainstream media, the term “ethical oil” is not being adopted as the corporate sponsors would like, as a legitimate term to be discussed; it is being discussed and treated as a deliberate media campaign, by petro company interests. It is not fooling anyone, and its euphemism to me, is ridiculous. It will fail to pick up any momentum as a commonly used term, because it is so ridiculous to use the word “ethical”, when what you mean in is “less bad, by certain standards”. It’s too far of a stretch, and too politically loaded, to become accepted. It will fail.

    I don’t believe you change minds or behaviour by misrepresenting yourself, disguising your messages, and using media tricks. This campaign will further entrench the anti-oilsands movement, give them good ammo to use in their commentary as is happening already (see Ricardo Acuna’s Parkland column last week). Given the choice, I prefer a truthful and unashamed message, that does not disguise the speaker and pretend to be another voice. It is mock journalism, it is deception, it therefore lacks integrity and is contrived nonsense. It does not matter what political bent, this kind of astroturf campaign is on, it is always ridiculous to everyone, obvious, and fails. In the meantime harming the credibility and cause of those people that have integrity instead, and choose to publish honestly and in open dialogue.

    To answer your question about Saudi oil vs. Alberta oil:

    Of course I would prefer people use Alberta oil, because I am an Albertan and my economic interests are at heart.

    Alberta oil is problematic, because of the natural gas and fresh water usage, it is a worse source than any other by leaps and bounds, in environmental cost. The world’s concerns are not pretend or unfounded, they are real and must be addressed as a technological and infrastructure challenge to our ingenuity. It WILL NOT be addressed with a few million dollars thrown at contrived media campaigns, which always lose when faced with true viral and grassroots movements.

    As far as Saudi oil goes? Saudi Arabian oil money has been the genesis of many terrorist organizations, funded countless horrors against civilians, and perpetuates an elitist regime that commits abuses against its own citizens.

    And our corporate community has embraced it without question, and oil in other similarly problematic or worse regions too. It has embraced the core nature of a global economy: that not only should goods and services trade freely from one place to another, and be treated as an equal commodity (grain is grain, gold is gold, oil is oil) regardless of where it is from so as to create free trade and commerce and growth…but corporations pursue legal action, governments enshrine protections, all the time, to make sure that ethical and environmental and social concerns do not prevent the free movement of economies. Whether you like it or not, it’s what we have signed on to, and we have to live with both edges of the sword. We operate corporate export processing zones in the third world where labour and safety standards and salaries are nil compared to operating at home, and demand that we have a right to these savings and business practices; Suncor and Syncrude hold vast rights to reserves of conventional oil in areas mired in conflict and corruption, and we demand that that oil is not differentiated from Norweigan oil on the world market; so grow up and accept that that street runs both ways.

    Of course this is only a media campaign, no one will (or can) try to boycott Saudi oil, legally, passing a bill or some such, because of the effect it would have when the whole world goes protectionist; Syncrude and Suncor would be out just as much as Aramco, because their ethics are not tangibly different.

    So in short, sure! I would rather put Alberta diesel in my truck. I would like Eastern Canada to use Canadian-upgraded oil. I would like to stop buying oil from brutal countries. But every oil company that makes Alberta oil, from Canadian headquartered to Russian to Chinese, is mixed up in every source that I would like to boycott, and lots of people would love to boycott Alberta. One thing is certain: If we could shut off Saudi oil, then the repercussions from the level playing field of de-globalizing the oil market, would leave us screwed for ever, because no one wants Alberta oil, while there are cheaper and environmentally cleaner sources, in a deregulated deglobalized market. As you pointed out, we rely on a globalized free market to even have a product.

    So it doesn’t matter what I want, it will NEVER happen.
    And NO, I don’t think the environmental cost is “more ethical” than women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, and therefore more better. The environment and Saudi human rights are both important and impossible to compare as to which is “less bad” to abuse.

    I refuse to call something good, when it is not. The flowery euphemistic language is bullshit and you’ll never hear me use it, or most people with integrity. It is a lie, plain and simple. I’m not ashamed of using unethical oil every day, which brings me all my conveniences and survival. I’m not going to call it ethical to feel better about myself, and if you do, you’re being a dink.

    • Another, simpler, way to frame my arguments here:

      The world views Alberta oil as dirty, because it is environmentally more costly to develop oilsands than conventional oil.

      The world views Middle East oil as ethically problematic, because of the regimes it supports, and the actions of regional and Western oil companies that commit atrocities to get it.

      This is a competitive situation. We are seeing, today, a dialogue in the world about the ethics of oil, environmental and social. If the EU, the US, Canada etc. will start to choose one oil source or another based on ethics, then the image and reputation matter very much.

      Curmudgeon, and the Ethical Oil sponsors, believe that one way to fight this battle is by putting money into political and media campaigns, because the term “Ethical Oil” and the astroturf strategy IS compelling.

      I disagree. The term “Ethical Oil” is an oxymoron and everyone knows it. No one is convinced that this site or the Ethical Oil “protests” and articles are coming from concerned citizens; everyone can see that it is coming from corporate mouthpieces and PR campaigns, and thus will always be an object of ridicule, ammunition for the anti-s, and an embarrassment for people on the pro-oilsands side who value journalistic and communicative integrity, over politics and PR exercises.

      In a situation where Alberta oil is dirty, Saudi oil is unethical, and governments actually choose which source to buy from, there is one way to move forward: clean up the oil sands better. Manage expansion so that it can take environmental costs into account at an achievable pace. Monitor water, emissions, and disclose transparently. Work toward technology that cleans the process.

      The industry and government have taken lots of these measures, and should be respected for doing so. The world is watching, and it DOES make a big difference in their eyes.

      The reason we got to this point with the anti movement, is because for decades the industry and government ignored the environmental situation in favour of unmitigated growth. It did not monitor water or air, it did not create historical data, it suppressed studies and fought to invalidate health concerns and silence communities, in favour of economic concerns.

      The anti-Alberta oil campaign is simply the consequence.

      The solution is to work very hard to improve.

      I believe that we have an awesome resource that we can sell to the world. First, undo the damage, clean it up, and be honest about the costs and true nature. Only with transparency and accountability, will we reverse the damage that was done by inaction and negligence.

      We are doing that now, the efforts are good, we are on the right track. But don’t expect that our good intentions and better-late-than-never will undo a political attitude that until 5 years ago, was “fuck you we don’t care” about world environmental attitudes, and refusal to cooperate internationally or monitor our own systems. For god’s sake, for 20 years of oilsands development upstream of the Athabasca we weren’t even sampling water in the RIVER. That is moronic, unless you think a cover up is better than accountable action.

      The cover is blown. The world knows. Now FIX IT.

      FIX IT by making legitimate changes. We can develop the technology and infrastructure, even if it costs money and limits the unlimited expansion. We have to, if we care about having long term customers. It is a BUSINESS INVESTMENT to do so.

      This campaign on the other hand, is not the place to be throwing money, it will not undo the perception of cover up, PR campaign, greenwashing and astroturfing. It serves instead to make it worse. So stop it, and improve the industry in real ways. Our future depends on it!

    • I do appreciate the fresh reply ;)

      I am at a loss to understand why you would think this website is attempting to present itself as a grassroots movement of any stripe. On the about page it clearly states: “ began as a blog created by Alykhan Velshi to promote the ideas in Ezra Levant’s bestselling book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands.” There is no mention of a grassroots movement at all; it clearly states that it is a promotional tool. The following paragraph might be the one that has you in such a moralistic uproar:
      “Within a month, based on the generosity of its readers, has become an online community that empowers people to become grassroots community activists on the front-lines of the campaign for ethical oil.”
      Once again it is not claiming to be a grassroots website. It is claiming that it is providing a sense of community for people to become a grassroots community. To me that is a very clear distinction.

      I fail to see any logic in your position that this website is misrepresenting itself. As noted above the site authors clearly state the purpose of the original blog site, and hence of this website that grew out of the blog, is to promote a book. For that matter the “” domain is owned by Ezra Levant. Where is the misrepresentation?

      I find it interesting that in one post you claim that astroturfing never works, and in this post you use President Obama’s campaign as an example of astroturfing. I hope that we can both agree that the Obama campaign was in fact successful.

      Moving on from the moral outrage that you feel towards a website that is, and clearly states that it is, a promotional tool let’s take a look at your arguments about the global economy.

      There is simply no basis in reality for your contention that goods and services trade freely in the global economy. At best we have theoretical “Free Trade Zones” within the global economy. Even within the free trade zones commodities are not treated equally, a perfect example is the Canadian soft wood industry.

      I am not going to spend the time to dissect the rest of your arguments in a similar manner, based on the simple fact that they are irrelevant to the question at hand. What you are engaged in is bootstrapping, a common tactic that is used to avoid a simple answer to a simple question.

      Yes global corporations engage in atrocities in third world countries, this is not limited to or exclusive to the Oil Industry. Yes most of the atrocities are encouraged and orchestrated by the World Bank. Yes oil sand extraction contributes to Co2. So does every type of oil extraction. Is it worse? That I am not sure of, however people who make it their business to know, those pesky scientists, state that it is no worse than Venezuelan Heavy Crude, or the practice of onsite natural gas burns common in the middle east. Since I am not a scientist, and the scientific community has a consensus on this I choose to accept their results rather than argue from ignorance.

      Throughout your post you are holding improvement hostage for perfection. A number of green activists engage in this idiocy and then wonder why reasonable people think they are a bit well…ignorant. It is a shame to see someone who on the surface reads well, to be engaging in the same fallacy.

      Without bootstrapping, without histrionics, and without logical fallacies the message on this website is this: You have a choice where to buy Oil. You can buy Oil from a country whose society is both primitive and antithetical to your own, or you can buy Oil from a country whose society shares values with your own.

      That is the message. Attempts to tie this question to Co2 or global business practices are glaring examples of false equivalence.

      I think the most telling sentence of your entire post is this: “So it doesn’t matter what I want, it will NEVER happen.” It is a shame to see an individual that truly believes themselves to be powerless, it must make the world a very scary place.

  71. I would like to continue discussing the topic of astroturfing, contrived media campaigns, and how they diminish the cause for the PRO OILSANDS movement, because they demonstrate miserable journalistic ethics and treat their audience as idiots, alienating everyone.

    However, this “grassroots” blog with open discussion, has started deleting my comments, which by the way are calm, measured, and supportive of oil sands development.

    I am not supportive of manufactured ‘viral’ media tricks. It is pathetic and dishonest and the energy industry and its supporters do not need to stoop this low.

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  73. The main reason many environmental activists oppose the oil sands is because of the carbon dioxide released during the mining and processing, CO2 that, they claim, is causing dangerous climate change. Do away with that concern and much of resistance to oil sands expansion goes away.

    Therefore, a fight for climate realism, an understanding that humankind’s carbon dioxide emissions are very unlikely to be driving climate change, should be an important part of the fight for the oil sands.

  74. Pingback: Canadian oil: ethical or dirty? - OIL WORLD 2011 – OIL WORLD 2011

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  78. Ramprashadstephen October 28, 2011 at 01:16

    who the is the hell is saudi arabia ? comming in our country to tell what add we should show on tv , can we go there and tell them how to live their lives ?? hell nooo , i think the canadian and us gouvernment should kick their ass out of here

  79. Ramprashadstephen October 28, 2011 at 01:22

    wake up America , wake up canada , saudi Aarabia is a poison Apple , and i dont care who is offend over this comment , for those who is offend by this my advice to you is to take your finger and stick it up in your ass hole , that how stink saudi arabia is ,,,,

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  81. Do’t think I need a male protector. I’m a dead shot. A twenty gauge works well for me. If I didn’t drive nothing would get done as my male protector finds it boring. Need to start a suffragette movement in Saudi.

  82. And we wonder why there is so much jihad activity in Canada. Canada is not an oil-rich African countries where they can just commit genocidal jihad and take the land and oil. Canada, like the U.S., has to be conquered by Mohammad’s deceit of war (from within means Obama). When the Middle Eastern oil boon runs out, the global jihad needs to have conquered Africa and other oil-rich countries to continue the Muslim Brotherhood’s global jihad.

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  84. This is totally about supporting these pukes in Saudi Arabia or not.
    The fact that they treat women like garbage is very relevant.
    Where are you gutless entities that supposedly stand for the rights of women around the world?
    It’s easy to come to Toronto or any Canadian city and spew your hatred against our clean oil sands but to actually do what you should do which is get your asses over to where these women are treated like dogs would take much more committment and GUTS which you folks do not have.
    At least go to the appropriate embassy and tell these evil doers what you think.
    But no you go the path of no resistance and rally against the oil sands and it’s pipelines which is a complete nobrainer to most of us to build.
    Look the fact that we also have GUTLESS LEADERSHIP or NO LEADERSHIP should not stop these pipe lines.
    Even though Obummer does not want it we can take care of ourselves in the east by building to there since they have the ability to make the oil there already.

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  89. I love that it’s a debate over “ethical” oil. Agreed the oppression of women in Middle East is appalling, but ethical and oil have never been synonymous. There are other options!

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