Ramping up pressure on the federal government, native leaders on Thursday expressed fierce opposition to a proposed copper-gold mine in the British Columbia Interior and warned of violent consequences if the project is approved.
“Our people are willing and ready to defend our lands,” Tsilhqot'in Nation Chief Marilyn Baptiste said Thursday at a news conference in Ottawa. “As one of my elders had said when we were going through the panel hearings – she will be there on the road in her wheelchair. She will have her shotguns and she will not move.”
Ms. Baptiste said she and others will risk their lives to block the $800-million Prosperity project, which would destroy two lakes that hold about 90,000 rainbow trout, a food source for local bands, and replace them with an artificial lake that would have far fewer fish.
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On August 31st, 2010, a study which was led by University of Alberta researchers was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which conclusively shows that numerous highly toxic pollutants are being released into the Athabasca River and its tributaries by the development of the oil sands.
The levels exceeded both federal and provincial government guidelines.
The report is available for download here.
Excerpted from the report:... Read more »
EDMONTON — Alberta's environment minister disputed the conclusions of a controversial oilsands study Tuesday, saying it's likely that increased toxins in the Athabasca River are due to natural causes.
But Rob Renner admitted he hadn't read the paper and could point to no peer-reviewed data or studies to back up his assertion.
"My scientists are telling me that the amount of compounds that can be detected in the Athabasca River at this point in time are not a concern and are of insignificant levels," Renner said. "The fact remains that there are naturally occurring substances in the water. And if we had never set foot in the region those kinds of results would still be there."
Renner said the task ahead is to tease out what toxins in the river are from industrial development and what occur naturally from bitumen seeping into the river.... Read more »
Canada's rapidly expanding tar sands industry is causing the toxic pollution of its rivers, but the government of Alberta continues to deny there is a problem.... Read more »
In addition to highlighting areas of concern, Sierra Club also highlights the technology that Total originally said would be part of the mining proposal but has since been removed. Total’s updated proposal flies in the face of several provincial and federal statements to eliminate toxic tailing waste ponds, move away from open pit mining projects, and to use carbon capture and storage technology.
“The application for the Joslyn Mine falls ridiculously short of the green promises made by Total,” explains Sheila Muxlow, Director with the Sierra Club Prairie. “Original promises of dry tailings and carbon capture and storage to mitigate the pollution from this project have been rescinded and what is left is another toxic mine that will decimate an area the size of 13,000 football fields and add more harm to an already overwhelmed area.”
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