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Justin Trudeau Told Leonardo DiCaprio to Stop Being Mean to Canada's Oil Sands

Trudeau and DiCaprio, a die-hard environmentalist, met at Davos in Switzerland this week after DiCaprio chastised the "corporate greed" of energy companies.

Justin Trudeau says he scolded actor Leonardo DiCaprio for being overly harsh about Canada's oil and gas industries

Trudeau and and DiCaprio, a die-hard environmentalist, met at Davos in Switzerland this week, after DiCaprio chastised the "corporate greed" of energy companies and pleaded for the industry to cease altogether in his acceptance speech for an activism award he received.

"Those entities with a financial interest in preserving this destructive system have denied, and even covered up the evidence of our changing climate," DiCaprio said. "You know better. The world knows better. History will place the blame for this devastation squarely at their feet."


In 2014, DiCaprio traveled to Fort McMurray, Alberta, the heart of Canada's oilsands, for a documentary and called out the industry there. "They drill, they extract, making trillions of dollars. We must fight to keep this carbon in the ground." Late last year, while in Alberta filming The Revenant, DiCaprio was mocked for linking chinooks — normal warm weather patterns in the region — to climate change, describing it as "terrifying."

According to media reports, Trudeau sat down with DiCaprio at a dinner this week saying his string of comments are unnecessary and hurtful, referencing the effects of plummeting oil prices. Trudeau has been criticized for not taking Canada's oil and energy sector seriously.

"I pointed out that both Alberta and Canada have new governments … that are committed to engaging with the emissions causing climate change in a responsible way," Trudeau said of his conversation with DiCaprio at a press conference on Friday. "And that there are families suffering and out of work who need to be supported and inflamed rhetoric doesn't necessarily help either the families or help Canada achieve its significant target reductions cost."

He added that DiCaprio replied that if Trudeau makes good on his climate change pledges, he'll be the "first to come up and celebrate us for it."

Trudeau gave a speech at the economic summit earlier this week, telling the audience of international corporate and government leaders that Canada was open for business, and that his government plans to invest heavily in low-carbon industries.

Follow Rachel Browne on Twitter: @rp_browne