Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta

A film by Tom Radford | Canada | English | 52′ / 42′

In an isolated region of the North, Canada’s future is being carved out of the forest at a breakneck pace.  Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta questions how much is Canada willing to sacrifice for a stake in the 21st Century’s greatest energy bonanza.

Washington lobbyists, Newfie pipefitters, Chinese investors and Norwegian industrialists descend on tar-soaked “Fort McMoney”, a modern-day Eldorado, where rents are sky high and cocaine is rife. Up for grabs is a stake in a $100 billion energy bonanza and Canada’s economic sovereignty.

This Florida-sized “environmental sacrifice zone” has become Canada’s contribution to US energy security in the post-9/11 world.  Yet, for many, the tar sands are a global warming disaster. As Fort McMurray bursts at the seams, children from Thunder Bay to Cape Breton are made tar-sands orphans by their migrant-worker parents.  Canada’s petrodollar breaks the back of the manufacturing economy in the East.  Cancer rates skyrocket downstream of Fort McMurray, while Rocky Mountain glaciers melt and disappear.

Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta captures the intersecting storylines of a remarkable cast of characters eager to cash in on the oil boom in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Produced by White Pine Pictures & Clearwater Media in association with The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with the Participation of the Canadian Television Fund, CAVCO, Rogers Documentary Fund, and the Rogers Telefund

“Doc builds a convincing case against tar sands… may make you join a protest march in Edmonton or Ottawa”

Globe and Mail

“Most of all, the documentary provides a sense of context—geopolitical, historical, social, you name it, it’s got it.”

Vue Weekly