Right to Water
The Mikisew Cree First Nation is vehemently rejecting the province's latest attempt to balance oilsands production with environmental stewardship.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the First Nation has been consulting with and providing information to the province about land-use concerns long before the land-use secretariat was created, said Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for the Mikisew Cree, this morning.
The province released its draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Wednesday, the first regional plan developed under Albertas land-use Framework. With oilsands production expected to double within the decade, the draft regional plan, said the province, will conserve more than two-million hectares of habitat for native species. It will also increase recreation and tourism opportunities, plan for infrastructure and put strict environmental limits in place for air, land disturbance and water.... Read more »
... Read more »
As people around the globe celebrated World Water Day March 22 — which advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources — residents and environmental organizations in Alberta are concerned the provincial government may be heading towards a water market system.
“No longer will water be for the public good,” said Kevin Force, water educator with the Sierra Club.
“It will become private property.”
However, a spokeswoman for Alberta Environment said concerns are unsubstantiated.
“The government has no intention to privatize or sell our water,” said Carrie Sancartier.
At a March 15 presentation in Calgary, Force said a review announced by the province in 2008 is presently considering changes to the current water allocation system in Alberta.... Read more »
EDMONTON - David Lavallee spent 15 years guiding hikes in the Columbia Icefields but didn’t give much thought to what happened to the water that melted off the glaciers.
Then one day he was standing on the Athabasca glacier with glaciologist Shawn Marshall. Marshall talked about how the river ran to the tarsands where a huge amount of the water was used by the industry and ended up in toxic tailings ponds, which were growing exponentially.
“I was like, ‘hmm, interesting. How come I don’t know anything about this?’ I was born and raised in Edmonton. I’d always heard about the oilsands as a kid, but they were just this small project up there. Now all of a sudden they just completely took off and now we’re the caretakers of the second biggest deposit of oil on the planet.”... Read more »
Bruce Carson has taken a leave of absence but did not resign from a provincial government advisory panel for Alberta’s oilsands in light of an RCMP investigation into the business dealings of the former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“Mr. Carson contacted Alberta Environment and said he would be comfortable with any decisions the minister made in regards to Mr. Carson’s participation on our panel,” said ministry spokeswoman Erin Carrier.
Environment Minister Rob Renner on Thursday “took (Carson) up on his offer of a leave of absence on the Alberta advisory panel. As events unfold, Mr. Carson’s further participation on the panel will be re-evaluated,” she said.... Read more »