Saudi Arabia vs Alberta oil sands


In a recent article in the Toronto Star (click here to read it), a report came out that Saudi Arabia sent a letter to Canadian broadcaster CTV threatening legal action if it did not stop airing a particular ad that was booked on their network. The ad in question is by an organization called EthicalOil.org which is Toronto-based and focuses on promoting Canadian oil which comes from the oil sands of Alberta. The ad above is the one that Saudi Arabia has a problem with as it discusses the treatment of women in the Middle Eastern nation and suggests that Canadian oil is more ethical and should be chosen by Americans over the Saudi oil.

Although I can understand why the Saudi’s are doing this, since this is big business that they have at stake and they do not want this message to catch on. However, I’m not sure that they can say that this is slanderous. In fact, it seems to unfortunately be right on the money. If anything, by limiting the message to only the constraints it puts on women they are somewhat being easy on Saudi Arabia. They could have just as easily reminded people that they also teach hate (against Israel), seriously under invest in their own citizens, are not a democracy, etc…

It is also interesting that a foreign country is warning a Canadian broadcaster not to air a Canadian ad by a Canadian organization. Some may have an issue with this. I actually have no problem with it. It is what globalization is all about and overall it is a good thing.

As for this confrontation, I hope EthicalOil.org keeps it up and hopefully their message will catch on throughout North America. It will make the continent and world a better place in the long run.