Blog Post: Complaining they were not adequately consulted, a dozen First Nations chiefs from northern Alberta denounced the province’s proposed aboriginal consultation policy on Thursday and skipped an “engagement session” with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Frank Oberle. The Treaty 8 chiefs hand-delivered a letter to Oberle saying they will no longer participate in discussions about the legislation, which allows government to decide how much consultation is needed for development projects on native lands.
Blog Post: On August 4, 2014, the catastrophic failure of a mining company's dam in British Columbia, Canada, released over 2.5 billion gallons of contaminated water from a containment pond into the upper Fraser River watershed. Only a few hundred miles east in Alberta, at least half a dozen dams containing wastewater from the tar sands industry hold more than 100 times the volume of the BC release and cover more than 43,000 acres of Canada's boreal forest. And yet, Canadian authorities offer virtually no public information about the safety of these tailings dams, which already leak millions of gallons of wastewater every day.
Blog Post: Anti-globalization author Naomi Klein says global investors should avoid Canadian natural-resource companies because of the growing risk that courts will award more control of land to aboriginal groups, threatening the viability of proposed development projects. “Any resource investment in Canada right now should be treated as an uncertain investment,” Klein said in an interview. “More and more Canadians are realizing that indigenous land rights are the best legal tool to stop projects that are rejected by the majority of residents.”
Blog Post: On August 18, 2014, the State Department posted documents that show Enbridge has hatched a scheme to almost double the flow of tar sands into the Great Lakes region along its Alberta Clipper pipeline ( also known as Line 67), in contradiction to its existing permit. In a privately sent letter from a mid-level State Department official, the State Department acquiesced to Enbridge’s new plan.
Blog Post: Neil Young and Willie Nelson will perform an afternoon benefit concert for Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy Indian Alliance on Saturday, Sept. 27, on a farm near Neligh, NE on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline that also crosses the Ponca Trail of Tears. Tickets for "Harvest the Hope: A Concert to Protect the Heartland" will go on sale Wednesday morning for $50. Sign up to get an email notice the moment tickets go on sale.
Blog Post: A new report released today finds that seven of the largest publicly-traded oil companies in the world are putting billions of dollars in jeopardy by investing in high-cost, high-risk oil extraction projects. Many of the most risky ventures are tar sands mines right here in Canada and many of the companies named in the report figure significantly in Canadian pension plans and mutual funds.
Blog Post: In this issue of The Dirt, NAFTA’s environmental watchdog decides to investigate the Canadian government’s propensity to not enforce the Fisheries Act as it applies to leaky tar sands tailings ponds; a new Alberta government report indicates air pollution is creeping toward thresholds that will impact human health; and Anishinaabeg and fellow Energy East pipeline resisters took over TransCanada’s “information session” to make sure their concerns were heard, loud and clear.
Blog Post: A new report released by the Alberta government reveals a concerning trend with declining air pollution as a result of tar sands operations. While the report itself was just released, the air pollution information in the report dates back in 2012 -- and there appears to be a total lack of a response by the Alberta government to this problem.