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2010-11-15  |  Malaika Aleba

An interview with Michelle, a teacher and government employee in Edmonton, Alberta.


When was a time you felt a strong connection to the environment? Tell me about it. 


This summer I went camping with my son and our dogs, Lucky and Eva. We went to Whitney Lakes, a  remote campground in north-western Alberta, by the Saskatchewan border. Right when we drove into the campground, we saw what looked like our dog Lucky, but then we realised it was a bear! So you can see how our camping trip was exciting right from the start! Eventually, after the bear had left, we got around to setting up the tent, and it started to rain. Rain is an understatement. The sky tore open and it poured! Within one hour we had experienced two tremendous forces of nature, both of them kinda scary.

The rain slowed down. We didn’t want to eat by the tent for fear of attracting Force of Nature #1, so...

2010-10-27  |  Bryn M

A blog by Jennifer Grant, The Pembina Institute

27 October 2010

Did freezing rain cause the ducks to make an emergency landing? Were the deterrents to discourage them from landing on the tailings lakes malfunctioning? Why did the ducks land on not one, not two, but three different toxic lakes? As journalists work to unravel the story of the latest dead ducks incident in the oilsands, one thing becomes increasingly clear: the risks posed by 170 square kilometres of toxic lakes are unmanageable.

In a strange instance of irony and gloomy happenstance, this latest incident happened mere days after Syncrude was handed a fine of $3 million for the death of 1,600 ducks on one of its tailings lakes in April 2008. Dishing out the fine as a creative sentence, federal and provincial government representatives patted themselves on the backs for enforcing their own laws. But the reality is that the latest rules to reduce toxic tailings are not even being enforced...

2010-10-21  |  Dustin Johnson

The Enbridge Gateway Pipeline project is the leading and largest Alberta Tar Sands twin pipeline proposed for expansion to the B.C. northwest coast. There are currently 5 pipelines, new and expansions, proposed across Northern B.C. potentially transporting up to a gradual increase of a 700,000 barrels of oil per day. The Enbridge Gateway Pipeline project in particular will travel across approximately 1,000 pristine streams, rivers, lakes, and natural wild salmon spawning grounds, a total one-way distance of 1,170 kilometers. The diversity and sensitivity of the wildlife is far more important then transporting heavy toxic crude and volatile condensate across the region. In addition to the shortcomings of this overall project, there are a very limited number of sustainable jobs available to local people who live in the region.

The current projects being proposed are:
    * Enbridge Gateway Project (2 pipelines, one condensate and one tar...

2010-10-21  |  Bryn M

In this two part video, award-winning journalist Christopher Bryson examines one of the great secret narratives of the industrial era; how a grim workplace poison and the most damaging environmental pollutant of the cold war was added to our drinking water and toothpaste.




2010-10-19  |  Malaika Aleba

A couple of weeks ago I travelled to the tar sands with about forty students as part of the University of Alberta Oil Sands Delegation. We were presented with multiple views about the tar sands, and so we not only met with people from Greenpeace and Fort Chipewyan, but we also had a four-hour long meeting with Suncor representatives.

I am not a fan of the tar sands, but I still gave Suncor my full attention while they told us they too were concerned about the environment and played some videos from their media campaign. I’m sure you know about the media campaign I’m talking about. In magazines, their ads show good-looking, healthy Suncor employees sitting in lush forests. On the radio, seductive female voices reassure you that everything is alright – yes, there are those crazy rumours going around that the tar sands are bad for the environment, but that’s not the real story! Suncor is committed to a sustainable future!

The videos they...

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