rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

The 'Greatest Canadian Migration': The Tar Sands Pipeline (wink)

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

We all need a good dose of sarcasm from time to time.

We know that Canada's tar sands are no laughing matter. They're the fastest growing source of carbon pollution in Canada. They're poisoning the Athabasca watershed and damaging the health of people who live downstream. The tar sands are decimating the boreal forest and they're the largest impediment to Canada adopting any decent climate policy.

But we also know that more people will pay attention to a serious issue if we use a bit of humour. As unpleasant as the tar sands are, it's our job to raise awareness about the damages they cause. And that means getting creative to get the message out.

With that, I'm proud to present our latest creative effort, the video "Great Canadian Migrations."

Narrated by a British actor, with a striking resemblance to famous British naturalist David Attenborough, the video follows the path of tar sands oil as it makes its way from Alberta to an oil tanker in the Atlantic Ocean. It's an epic and harrowing journey. And it's funny (trust me, the way we tell it is funny.) 

The video juxtaposes the narrator's rosy commentary about "the greatest of all Canadian migrations" against stark footage of the tar sands and news clips showing oil spills in Canada and the United States -- making viewers chuckle at the narrator's absurd optimism.

The tar sands are practically an iconic Canadian species. With all the love the tar sands get in Ottawa, it's easy to imagine them depicted on a special commemorative coin from the Canadian Mint. For advertising dollars spent by Ottawa, they get more attention than the beaver, the loon, or the caribou, that's for sure. And you can almost imagine them featured in a heritage minutes short they show on TV: "The Tar Sands, the fouling of a nation. Part of our history."

In our video, the tar sands are attempting to make a massive voyage. Somehow, they must defy the odds and make their way from landlocked Alberta, to an ocean. Any ocean.

So that's what the video's about. The world's pre-eminent naturalist takes us on a journey, following Canada’s iconic but not well understood specimen on a voyage of epic proportions.

Tune in, and watch what is likely the greatest of all Canadian migrations (wink.)  And if you like it, share it with your friends so more people can learn about the tar sands risks.

Oh, and sign our petition, so we can stop this migration, stop the expansion of the tar sands and begin to move toward the clean economy Canadians want. 



Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.