Ben West’s star is rising over East Vancouver


Last night at the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver, I moderated a debate on the ethics of the oilsands developments.

It was a wildly entertaining and informative event pitting the Wilderness Committee’s healthy communities campaigner, Ben West, against Calgary lawyer, author, and oilsands defender Ezra Levant.

It didn’t appear as though anyone changed any minds last night.
Levant, a fiery right-wing flamethrower, had a few supporters in the

He cleverly used arguments designed to appeal to a left-wing
audience, insisting that it was more ethical to buy oil from the
Canadian tar sands over oil purchased from tyrannical regimes in Saudi
Arabia or Sudan.

Levant also emphasized that the oilsands offer well-paid jobs to aboriginal people.

West didn’t give an inch, responding that no matter how much oil was
produced in Alberta, the Saudis would have no trouble selling every drop
of petroleum.

Read full Georgia Straight Charlie Smith article here


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.