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Tar Sands: Canada for Sale (aka The Selling of Alberta)

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: White Pine Pictures
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 52 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2008
Available in French: No

Tar Sands: Canada for Sale captures the intersecting storylines of a remarkable cast of characters eager to cash in on the oil boom in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Washington lobbyists, pipefitters from Newfoundland, Chinese investors and Norwegian industrialists descend on tar-soaked "Fort McMoney", a modern-day Eldorado, where rents are sky rocketing and cocaine abuse is four times the provincial average. Up for grabs - a stake in a $100 billion energy bonanza and Canada's economic sovereignty. This documentary tracks the growth of the world's largest reserve of 'unconventional' oil. This Florida-sized "environmental sacrifice zone" has become Canada's contribution to U.S. 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. And all the while, Alberta crude goes south to U.S. markets while Eastern Canada pays ever more for insecure Middle East oil. In an isolated region of the north, Canada's future is being carved out of the forest at a breakneck pace.

Tar Sands: Canada for Sale questions how much Canada is willing to sacrifice for a stake in this century's greatest energy bonanza.

Original title was Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta