Right to Water
18 March 20111 (Edmonton) — Following the launch of an RCMP investigation into Stephen Harper’s former senior policy advisor Bruce Carson, Alberta environmental and Indigenous groups are calling for the immediate and permanent removal of Carson from the provincial tar sands water monitoring panel.
Carson, who was appointed to the water panel in February by Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner, is being investigated for allegations of influence pedaling related to lobbying the Indian Affairs Department to land contracts on First Nations territory potentially worth millions of dollars for an Ottawa-based water company that employed his fiancé. Carson, whose offer to resign yesterday was declined by Minister Renner is taking a leave of absence. The groups are calling on Minister Renner to permanently remove Carson from the panel.
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At a time of unprecedented urgency with the global and local water crises, Edmonton will mark World Water Day with a week of events on the most pressing issues surrounding this fundamental necessity of all life.
All events are free and open to the public, and will address a range of issues, including water markets and the risk they pose by commodifying Alberta’s water rather than protecting it in the public interest; Bill S-11 and the threat to First Nations’ sovereignty and Indigenous rights to water; and the conflict embodied in the tar sands between our lust for energy and the need for clean water and healthy ecosystems on which our survival depends. The week includes film screenings, talks, public displays, celebrations and music. Some highlights are:
Tuesday, March 22 (World Water Day), 7:00 pm - The Public Trust Doctrine and the Future of Water in Alberta... Read more »
CALGARY — A new government-commissioned report examining conflicting water quality data from the oilsands says the current monitoring system is inadequate and that environmental impacts from industrial development in the region are largely unknown.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner appointed the six-member water monitoring data review committee last fall to try to resolve the conflicting water quality information found between government scientists and University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler and his colleagues.
Schindler's reports argue the oilsands industry is contaminating the environment, while the province and the industry funded Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) have insisted their science does not support his conclusions.... Read more »
A scientific panel has backed research that indicates oil sands development is releasing contaminants into northern Alberta watersheds.
The panel also concludes that government monitoring programs weren’t even trying to determine if the industry was polluting the Athabasca River.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said the results from the panel’s review will be used in an ongoing redesign of how the province keeps track of industry’s impact on land and water.
But one of the University of Alberta scientists whose study led to the panel said it’s probably already too late to get a true picture of how energy development has affected the region.
“It’s nearly impossible at this point,” David Schindler said Wednesday after the panel’s findings were released by the Environment Department.... Read more »