Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

An Alberta woman says she has complained to the RCMP about a decal bearing an energy services company’s logo below a cartoon depicting what appears to be the sexual assault of 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The sticker has a black-and-white drawing of a female figure’s bare back with hands pulling on her braided pigtails. The name “Greta” is written below. Under the drawing is the logo of X-Site Energy Services.

The company’s general manager, Doug Sparrow, did not return messages seeking comment from The Canadian Press, but has denied having anything to do with the stickers to other media outlets.

Michelle Narang of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., said a friend who works in the oil and gas industry texted her a photo of the decal and told her an X-Site employee was handing them out.

Narang, who has two teenage daughters, said as soon as she saw the image, she sat down in a chair and cried.

“The visual is jarring,” Narang said Thursday. “It hurt. It hurt on so many levels.”

Narang said she called the RCMP to report the decal as child pornography.

RCMP Cpl. Ron Bumbry said officers are aware of the image and “will be following up.”

A torrent of online outrage was sparked when Narang posted the image on social media Wednesday night.

Sparrow told Calgary radio station CFFR that he has since received hundreds of complaints, but his company wasn’t involved.

“It’s not from X-Site or any employee. Someone has done this. That’s all I know,” he told the radio station.

Sparrow’s voicemail at X-Site was full on Thursday and an email to him bounced back as undeliverable. Messages left with other employees and an email sent through X-Site’s website were not immediately returned. Calls to 24-hour dispatch numbers went to voicemail.

A sales contact listed on X-Site’s website said he no longer works with the company, but that Sparrow had told him earlier Thursday that the stickers did not come from Sparrow.

Alberta’s minister for the status of women, Leela Aheer, called the graphic “completely deplorable, unacceptable and degrading.”

“This is not what our province stands for. Whoever is responsible should be ashamed and apologize immediately. I stand with Albertans against this horrendous image,” she wrote on Twitter.

Premier Jason Kenney tweeted in response: “Thank-you for denouncing this odious image and the message it sends.”

Thunberg has made headlines for her passionate pleas to world leaders to take tougher action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and for inspiring large climate marches around the world.

She joined thousands in a march through downtown Edmonton in October. Oil-and-gas industry supporters showed up, but they were vastly outnumbered by the climate marchers.

Narang said she was reluctant to share the Greta image because she didn’t want to give the energy sector another black eye as environmental opposition stalls development in an economically vital industry.

“In Alberta, especially, we are fighting so hard for an industry that means so much to us and to have that sort of sabotage from within — you can’t do that.”

Narang said she has been heartened by industry workers speaking out against the Greta image.

“People have this picture of an oil-and-gas worker and what they think the industry is and what they think the industry represents — and this is not it.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Greta Thunberg

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man launches West Kootenay shuttle service for those in need

Business owner Mike Sherwood said he’s been getting ten call requests a day from people

Kootenay gas prices among the highest in B.C

Gas prices are up to 10 cents higher than other neighbouring B.C. regions

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

District reports case of COVID-19 in Elkford

Owner Ahmed El-Maddah requests any customer who visited pharmacy on March 17 self-isolate

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read