Saudi Arabia Canada Oil rivalry

The Saudi Arabia-Canada Oil Rivalry Heads to the Gutter


When it comes to nasty campaigns, politicians are usually the main sources. In theory, such tactics shouldn’t work, especially if they’re outrageous in nature, yet many end up doing just that. Using that philosophy as a cornerstone, an advocacy group for Canada’s oil sands offered up a crude marketing attempt that sought to drastically contrast lifestyles in that country and Saudi Arabia.

On July 25, the Canada Oil Sands Community put a poster on multiple social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that shows a stock photo of two women intimately kissing. The copy that was written in conjunction with the photo notes that Canadians find lesbians “hot,” while similar circumstances in Saudi Arabia would put the two women to death.

The poster then disparages the fact that Canada continues to get at least some of its oil from Saudi Arabia and ties in a plea for equality with choosing Canadian oil.

The founder of the organization, Robbie Picard, is an openly gay man who was previously associated with another oil sands organization, I Love Oilsands. However, he left last year to become an independent activist.

Picard’s push is the result of the oil crunch that over the past two years has seen the price of a barrel of oil drop by 50 percent or more. That’s had a severe negative impact on the oil sands that had previously allowed Canada to rank near the top when it comes to oil reserves. While the Saudis have seen profits drop, they continue to make money and have actually increased production.

The poster made by Picard actually resulted in a backlash against him, with other oil sands lobbying groups decrying it as sexist and homophobic. Gay rights groups also deplored the concept, saying that it trivialized their cause.

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