Harper govt tries to block NAFTA from investigating leaking tailing ponds

Read this Jan. 12 story from CBC.ca on the Harper government’s efforts to block an investigation by NAFTA’s environmental watchdog of oil sands tailing ponds leaking into the Athabasca River.

Canada is trying to stop NAFTA’s environmental watchdog from taking a closer look at the environmental effects of the huge tailings ponds produced by Alberta’s oilsands, and it appears Mexico and the U.S. will go along with efforts to stop a formal investigation.

If that happens, it would be the third time in a year Canada has stopped North American Free Trade Agreement scrutiny of its environmental record.

The tailings ponds are a touchy political issue for both the Alberta and Canadian governments. They’ve become a symbol of the environmental footprint of oilsands production. The ponds cover more than 176 square kilometres and contain a toxic mixture of water, clay and chemicals, what’s left over when the oil is removed.

Evidence suggest the ponds are seeping into the nearby ground and water.

Two environmental groups and three private citizens from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the N.W.T. want the Commission on Environmental Co-operation to find out whether Canada is breaking its own Federal Fisheries Act by failing to prevent tailings from leaking into the Athabasca River and nearby creeks in northern Alberta.

“It was important for us know whether this was happening and whether environmental laws were being broken and whether the government is upholding those laws or ignoring them,” said Dale Marshall of Environmental Defence, one of the groups that launched the complaint in 2010.Harper-govt-tries-to-block-NAFTA-from-investigating-leaking-tailing-ponds

Advertisements

Published by

donnyh2015

Youth support worker at Urban Native Youth Association and pet care specialist at Little Buddies Pet Care. I have completed a minor in First Nations Studies at SFU and am a Psych major. I continue to work as an oral testimony archivist with Dr. annie ross in the FN dept. at SFU. In 2016 I will attend grad school at City U to do a masters in counseling, and then a post master's certificate in Art Therapy. My dream is to open an inner city healing center one day. My vision is that it will offer a variety of holistic alternative therapies, and a community gardening program. I also would love to incorporate animal therapy somehow. I decided on the name "Reflections" for the healing centre, because we look back or (reflect) to sort out our feelings and archetypal imagery, and to look at a reflection of ourselves through the art.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s