This justification for the Tar Sands poses interesting ethical dilemmas for Levant himself, which he does not touch upon in his book. Levant has shown himself to be anti-Muslim – he got himself a lot of publicity for publishing the Danish cartoons, and criticizes Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi for both his policies and his religion.
In 2010, Levant planned to accompany American ultra-right wing and anti-Muslim extremist Ann Coulter on a speaking tour of Canadian universities, which was cancelled at the last minute because of alleged “security issues.” Coulter herself commented that had she worn a burka, she would have been safe.
Also, as pointed out in an earlier article, Levant faced disciplinary action at the University of Alberta for, among other things, his attitude towards hiring women, so why is he so suddenly interested in the plight of contemporary Saudi women?
Is Levant honestly interested in the predicament of women in Saudi Arabia (or even civil rights anywhere in the Muslim world), or is this merely an excuse to promote the interests of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ members and the Conservative Party in their efforts to bolster the Chinese economy? Keep in mind that CAPP and some of its members made a questionable donation of $180,000 to the Harper Government in 2011, during a first ministers’ energy conference.
With the United States’ rejection (at least for now) of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the Texan Gulf coast, the Harper Government is now focusing on selling surplus Tar Sands crude bitumen to China.
Although China has become economically as capitalistic as the best (or worst, depending on viewpoint) of the western world, it remains under Communist control, and has some of the worst human rights abuses anywhere. Tibetans routinely suffer persecution, as does any minority ethnic group that promotes separation.