Toxic Sludge

Federal oilsands panel comes as 'surprise'

CALGARY - Alberta's environment minister says he was taken by surprise by a federal panel appointed to look into environmental monitoring of the oilsands.

Rob Renner says Alberta has led other jurisdictions when it comes to monitoring water quality in the oilsands region.

Last week, he announced the province was creating its own independent panel to determine the source of toxic metals and hydrocarbons in the land and water near the industry.

He says he has contacted his federal counterparts and made it clear that he doesn't want to see a duplication of efforts.

Renner says it's possible the two panels could end up working together in the future.

The federal panel is expected to complete its final report in 60 days, while the Alberta group has until Feb. 1.

BC Municipalities Vote Against Enbridge Pipeline and Oil tankers

Oct 1, 2010, Village of Queen Charlotte


(WHISTER) Today at the UBCM annual convention in Whistler delegates from BC municipalities resoundingly voted in opposition to the proposed
Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and oil tanker traffic on B.C.‘s North Coast.

“I am overwhelmed and very grateful to the delegates of the UBCM for standing up for coastal communities on an issue that has provincial and
national significance,” said Leslie Johnson, a councillor with the Village of Queen Charlotte.

“Understanding of the issue is growing, and that is leading to stronger opposition across the province,” said Carol Kulesha, Mayor of the Village
of Queen Charlotte.... Read more »

What Does Avatar Have In Common With Canada’s Oil Sands?

And God gazed upon the vastness of the Canadian oil sands and pronounced them to be a curse.

Correction: an incipient curse—one that would materialize unless Alberta orders an immediate halt to development and cleans up its environmental act.

And no, it really wasn’t the Supreme Being in that helicopter over the blighted landscape near Fort McMurray. It was famed movie director James Cameron, the genius behind Titanic and Avatar. It was just the Canadian media that gave the impression that God had come down for a visit, dogging every step of his three-day tour and parsing every word he uttered. The media seemed to be looking to somehow paint Alberta’s oil sands development as a threat to its native peoples in the same way big business was hell bent on ruining the lives of the peaceful blue people of Pandora in he movie Avatar.... Read more »

Avatar's Cameron doesn't slag oilsands

Turns out the oilsands was not ready for its closeup.

But it might be -- in about five years, if it loses the unsightly open pit mines and ditches the toxic tailings ponds. And stops emitting so much greenhouse gas.

Hollywood movie director James Cameron passed judgment on the oilsands on Wednesday in a verdict that was remarkably measured and reasonable and didn't once repeat his notorious reference to the world's largest energy production project as a "black eye".

Neither did he call it a "curse" as did aboriginal leaders while co-hosting a news conference with Cameron.... Read more »

Oilsands water concerns focus of panel

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has announced the appointment of a six-person advisory panel to look into the water-testing regime in the Athabasca River around Alberta's oilsands.

The group will advise Prentice on the current state of research and will recommend a new system, if necessary, the minister said Thursday in Ottawa. The panel has 60 days to make its recommendations.

"The purpose of the inquiry and the work of these scientist is to tell us what a state-of-the-art, world-class monitoring system should look like. To get the best scientific advice on that," Prentice said.

The announcement comes in response to criticism about water monitoring in the Athabasca watershed in northern Alberta. In particular, a peer-reviewed study published by University of Alberta water scientist David Schindler found elevated levels of cadmium, mercury, lead and other toxic elements in the Athabasca River.... Read more »


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