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The Dirty Truth about Canada’s Tar Sands Industry

Canada’s Tar Sands are located in the Northern half of the province of Alberta along with some deposits in neighbouring Saskatchewan. Covering a landmass of 140,200 km2, or 54,132 square miles, the deposits span a region the size of the State of New York or 2.5 times the size of Nova Scotia. The tar sands are located in the heart of Canada’s Boreal Forest, a nearly continuous belt of coniferous trees that extends across the country. Home to a diversity of plant and animal species the region is commonly referred to as “the lungs of the planet,” as it is one of the largest carbon storehouse in the world, second only to the Amazon rainforest. The region contains extensive wetlands, including bogs, peatlands and fens. The tar sands region of the boreal forest is the traditional territory of the Dene, Cree and Métis Indigenous people. At an estimated 170 billion barrels, Canada’s tar sands have put the country on the global oil map, making Canada 2nd only to Saudi Arabia for proven crude oil reserves. Since commencement of oil sands extraction, nearly 40 years ago, extraction of the resource has climbed steadily to the 1.31 million barrels per day in 2008. This figure is expected to nearly triple by 2018. Tar Sands oil is destined for the U.S. In 2008, Alberta exported 1.51 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil to the U.S., supplying 15% of U.S. crude oil imports, or 8% of U.S. oil demand. As of June 2009, there were approximately 5,012 oil sands (mineral rights) agreements with the Province totaling approximately 82,542 km2 (31,870 square miles). This equates to an area that is nearly the size of the state of South Carolina. Close to 41% of possible tar sands areas are still available for leasing.

Our Demands:

It is no exaggeration to call the tar sands one of the most destructive industrial projects in the world. People, animals and the land are dying as we extract the dirty tar sands oil to feed our North American appetite for oil. WE NEED YOUR HELP! CANADIANS MUST NOW, MORE THAN EVER, UNITE TOGETHER AND DEMAND AN END TO TAR SANDS INJUSTICES TODAY! • The Tar Sands must be included in a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions. • The Tar Sands must be subjected to precautionary water quality standards aimed to stop and eliminate elevating levels of Mercury, Arsenic, PAHs and other carcinogenic toxins. • Treaty Rights must be honoured and upheld. First Nations and Métis Communities must be meaningfully consulted and accommodated before any further development decisions are approved. • We are calling for the Canadian and Albertan governments to take the first step and cease new oil sands approvals and lease sales. The time is now to stop the uncontrolled oil sands development and deal with the environmental and social concerns that it has created. • We furthermore urge our Governments to develop an energy policy, which encourages conservation and promotes the use of safe, clean, and renewable energy sources. Together, we can move our Canada beyond the current dirty oil image. It’s time.

Latest Posts

#FAIL, says new report from Canada’s environment watchdog

Media Release, May 9, 2012

OTTAWA - The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development provides further evidence the federal government is failing to protect the environment, ^NOT meeting its climate change commitments and ^NOT cleaning up contaminated sites.

The reality is Canada will ^NOT meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emission target of 17% below 2005 emissions (it won’t come close with the current rate of expansion of the Tar Sands). Nor is there a plan (or the funding allocated) to clean-up thousands of toxic waste sites. Only a handful of contaminated sites out of over 10,000 are reported to be receiving adequate attention.... Read more »

#BlackOutSpeakOut - A response to Harper's war on nature & democracy

The federal government’s war on nature and democracy means “Silence is no longer an option” for Canadians. So I’m urging you to join with Sierra Club Canada and the country’s leading environmental organizations in a national campaign to force the government to restore the environmental protection and democratic participation. The campaign aims to force the Harper government to retreat and restore the environmental protection and democratic participation it recently gutted.... Read more »

#BlackOutSpeakOut campaign launched by environmental groups

MEDIA RELEASE - EMBARGOED UNTIL MAY 7, 2012

#BlackOutSpeakOut

OTTAWA – According to a national campaign being launched Monday, May 7th by the country’s leading environmental organizations, the federal government’s war on nature and democracy means “Silence is no longer an option!” The campaign aims to force the Harper government to retreat and restore the environmental protection and democratic participation it recently gutted.... Read more »

Peter Kent is a big fat liar! Response to “money laundering” allegations

This week Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent has made repeated allegations that environmental groups are “laundering money”. This is a serious charge because according to the federal government’s own website: Money laundering is the process used to disguise the source of money or assets derived from criminal activity.

This is beyond anything in my experience and is absolutely irresponsible. A cabinet minister is going around spouting serious allegations without proof and the media is repeating them without doing anything to investigate the validity of his statements.... Read more »

'Money Laundering' claim irks green groups

MONTREAL - Environmental groups in Quebec and across Canada are accusing the federal government of engaging in a kind of McCarthyism, painting environmentalists as terrorists and criminals in a bid to discredit and silence critics.

“This is a sustained campaign,” said Steven Guilbeault of the Montreal-based environmental organization Équiterre. “They have been talking about it since January; comparing environmental groups to terrorists, radicals, and money launderers. If I had more money, I would take the minister to court for defamation.”

Guilbeault was responding to various statements by Conservative politicians, including Environment Minister Peter Kent’s recent comments on CBC accusing unnamed environmental organizations of money laundering.

... Read more »

            

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