Atmosphere & Energy

Tar Sands

Introduction

Canada'a tar sands, also known as oil sands, are located in the northern half of the province of Alberta along with some deposits in neighbouring Saskatchewan. Covering a land mass of 140,200 km2, or 54,132 square miles, the deposits span a region larger than the size of the U.S. states of :

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Premier defends oilsands in letter to Washington

Alberta's premier has fired the latest shot in what has been dubbed the mother of all public relations battles.

A letter written by Ed Stelmach defending the oil sands is being published by the Washington Post.

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Sierra Club Canada takes offence to the letter, which is claims is just another Alberta Government smoke screen.

A spokesperson says the overall perception of the oil sands outside of Alberta is not good and some cheering from the sidelines by the premier is not going to change that.

It's official: Syncrude is a tar sands criminal

After a two-and-a-half-month trial, tar sands oil giant Syncrude has been found guilty of the criminal charges laid in connection with the deaths of 1,606 ducks that in one of its mining tailings lakes in April 2008. Syncrude was charged under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Federal Migratory Birds Convention Act with failing to undertake due diligence to ensure its toxic tailings do not cause harm to migratory birds.

The ducks are just one page of the tar sands horror story but the trial has been very revealing about the nature of tar sands operations. Nevertheless, while the verdict is in and sentencing is still to come, justice is still a long way from being served.

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Sierra Club Canada shocked at new tar sands proposal

EDMONTON - Despite widespread concerns about treaty rights violations, health concerns and environmental impacts from existing Tar Sands projects, the government of Alberta will be considering once again another proposal for a huge tar sands mine and toxic tailings lake. The project, proposed by oil and gas giant TOTAL, is set to go to hearing on September 21st, 2010.

"It has barely been a week after the Syncrude guilty verdict, exposing serious concerns with the lack of regulation and enforcement in the tar sands and yet instead of slowing down and thinking about fixing the problems, this government wants to push full steam ahead with more development," exclaimed Sheila Muxlow, Director with the Sierra Club
Prairie. "It is nothing short of irresponsible."
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Sierra Club Canada condemns G20 violence, supports peaceful protest

OTTAWA – As an organization that encourages Canadians to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet, Sierra Club Canada condemns the violence surrounding last weekend’s G20 summit in Toronto and supports the right to peaceful assembly.

"Violence - by extremists or police officers - has no rightful place in a democratic protest environment," said Emily Rideout, Sierra Club Canada's G20 representative.

The summit was marred by violence from self-described anarchists who vandalized property and antagonized police. In turn, police officers with newly-expanded powers conducted the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, jailing journalists, peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders, among others.
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