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Oilsands advocate chides singer Jann Arden over 2016 tweet about industry

Paul Brandt, left, and Jann Arden will lead the Calgary Stampede parade, which goes July 8, after being named parade marshals during a ceremony in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Paul Brandt, left, and Jann Arden will lead the Calgary Stampede parade, which goes July 8, after being named parade marshals during a ceremony in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

An oilsands advocate is chiding singer Jann Arden for being “insensitive” to the plight of the ailing industry in a social media post she made more than two years ago.

In the 2016 tweet, Arden criticized the Alberta government over its policy of rounding up wild horses on Crown land, saying the horses don’t do as much damage as the “Tar sands” — a derogatory term for the oilsands.

Robbie Picard, who has a Facebook page called Oil Sands Strong, is calling on Arden to apologize for the tweet.

Picard says if she doesn’t, fans should boycott her Oct. 30 concert in his home community of Fort McMurray.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray restaurant pulls B.C. wines amid bitumen battle

He says Arden, who was born and grew up in Alberta, should be aware of how the oilsands benefit the economy and First Nations.

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Picard also notes that Arden is doing television ads for Toyota.

“Once again the total ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy of these celebrities,” he said Wednesday.

He said Arden should be held to a higher standard because she is from the province.

READ MORE: Helicopter pilot opens up about Jane Fonda’s oilsands tour: ‘she was being given so much misinformation’

“She is not just a fly-in, fly-out celebrity like Jane Fonda or Neil Young or Leonardo Dicaprio,” he said of stars who have been critical of the oilsands industry over the years.

“I’m sick of these people who drive cars and take planes and crap on the oilsands.”

Arden took to Twitter to respond to Picard.

READ MORE: Jann Arden opens up about mother’s Alzheimer’s battle

On her website she noted that she had to block dozens of people on Twitter Wednesday.

“So I basically said in a tweet 2 and a half years ago – that the WILD HORSES – didn’t do as much damage as the Tar sands – which is what they used to be called,” she wrote. “But I’m old. Wild horses. Just saying.”

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Arden, who has won eight Juno awards over the years since her breakout hit “Insensitive” in the early 1990s, is also famous for her sense of humour.

“Not sure why a tweet from 2016 was dug up …. but I’ve got WAY WORSE ONES than that.”

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