Forests and Biodiversity

Back to nature a tricky task

FORT MCMURRAY - In the checkerboard of test ponds at Syncrude's wetland research site, Mother Nature has won some games and lost others.

Among the squares, there are certain ones with barely a sprig of green poking out from the silty water.

Other experimental combinations are more successful, though it takes a scientific eye to pick out the real winners. That's because the target is the recreation of a specific kind of wetland, called a fen. A fen is a wetland that is fed by groundwater, which is a heck of a thing to recreate in a landscape that was dug up extensively and then, in some cases, filled in with tailings.

Oilsands operations are increasingly striving to reach these milestones, partly because government is ordering them to do it in their approvals, but also because there is mounting pressure to improve the environmental image of oilsands development.... Read more »

Greenpeace report challenges Canada’s need for dirty, risky fossil fuels

9 September 2010 (Toronto) — Greenpeace today released a comprehensive analysis of Canada’s energy potential that challenges the need for dirty oil from the tar sands and shows that Canada can create tens of thousands of green jobs, while providing over 90 per cent of the country’s electricity and heating needs from renewable sources by 2050.

“Greenpeace worked with energy experts to show how Canada can break its addiction to dirty tar sands oil, coal and gas and save consumers $5.3 billion a year by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Keith Stewart, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. “We challenge the oil industry and governments to lay out their plan for protecting Canadians from climate change and rising costs for fossil fuels. It’s past time for this debate.”... Read more »

Planned northern Pipeline Unacceptable

Stretched across Main Street in Smithers, the banner reads: "No Pipelines."

It heralds what many believe will be one of the most protracted environmental fights to rock the province in decades.

Dubbed the Northern Gateway, the pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc. would bring tarsands oil from Alberta to the coastal town of Kitimat and then ship it via supertankers to refineries in Asia.

The street banner doesn't tell the whole story. The main problem is not the pipeline per se, although many now have strong concerns about pipeline safety. Rather it is supertankers running through the narrow labyrinth of islands and fjords between Haida Gwaii and the mainland.

If Enbridge's plan goes through, supertankers will travel right by Gil Island, where B.C. Ferries' Queen of the North sank in 2006.... Read more »

Hundreds March to Oppose Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

“Tar sands pipeline is not worth the risk”

Dakelh Territory (Prince George, BC, Canada) – Today, more than 500 people marched through downtown Prince George, BC, in support of First Nations and northern BC residents opposing a tar sands pipeline and tanker port proposed by Enbridge Pipelines Inc.

The proposed pipeline would move up to 525,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands in northern Alberta to tanker port in Kitimat, BC.  The project would cross unceded territories claimed by over 20 First Nations.  It would also cross 785 watercourses, fragment wildlife habitat and impact fragile salmon fisheries.  Enbridge has a long history of pipeline spills and other accidents, including a one million gallon spill of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July—one of the largest spills in U.S. history.... Read more »

ACTION ALERT - No New Approvals on Tar Sands! – Sierra Club Prairie wants Total’s Joslyn Mine proposal shelved.


French Oil Giant Total has filed a proposal for a new open pit tar sands mine in the tar sands. The area is already plagued with local reports of environmental pollution, treaty rights violations and health problems. Total’s mine proposal threatens to make these issues worse!

From Total’s own admission the new open pit mine will:

  • Result in one and a half million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution each year, equivalent to putting over 270,000 cars on the road.
  • Destroy seven thousand hectares of land, equivalent to the 13,000 football fields, with no realistic hope of reclamation of these areas to the same natural state they were in before.
  • Result in the production of 12.5 billion litres of toxic tailings waste each year, and over the project life amounting to a volume large enough to fill over 100 sports stadiums, without any proven plan to keep these toxic materials from entering the region’s lands and waters.
  • Result in the production of 2,740 tonnes of pollution each year that causes acid rain.
  • Remove and pollute up to 22 billion litres of fresh water from the Athabasca River each year.

In addition this project has not received the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous people of the region and raises serious concerns with respect to Treaty rights infringements.

Sierra Club Prairie asserts that as many of their members are citizens of Canada who have benefited from Treaties, there is an interest and responsibility to ensure the Canadian & Alberta government’s behaviour is honourable and legal in upholding Section 35 of the Constitution which relates to ‘Aboriginal’ rights. 

Call or email or mail a letter to Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach!

Email Address

Mailing Address
The Honourable Ed Stelmach
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Bldg
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone Number (780) 427-2251
Fax Number (780) 427-1349

Call or email or mail a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper!

Email Address

Mailing Address
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2
Phone Number (613) 992-4211
Fax Number (613) 941-6900

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