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UPDATE with video: Neil Young calls Fort McMurray "a wasteland"

Legendary Canadian musician Neil Young says Fort McMurray resembles a nuclear bomb site.

According to the blog of Washington, D.C.-based paper The Hill, Young made the comments at a National Farmers Union event on Monday.

“The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The indians up there and the native peoples are dying,” the paper quoted Young as saying.

“People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All of the First Nations peoples up there are threatened by this,” he reportedly added. “Their food supply is wasted, their treaties are no good. They have the right to live on the land, like they always did, but there’s no land left that they can live on. All the animals are dying.”

Young appears to be referring to elevated bile duct cancer rates in Fort Chipewyan, which have never been conclusively linked to oil sands production.

It’s not clear what animals Young claims are dying en masse, nor what his basis is for claiming that there is no land left for First Nations people to live on.

Young and actress Daryl Hannah were in Fort McMurray briefly as part of a film opposing the Keystone XL pipeline.

September 9, 2013