Alberta First Nations and Allies Deliver Message To Investment Symposium in Calgary:
Dirty Tar Sands Oil Is A Risky Investment
Groups Dare Investors to Drink Community Water
CALGARY - July 16 - Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Mikisew Cree First Nation and environmental and social justice advocates traveled to Calgary today to the Oil and Gas Investment Symposium hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers with a message for the hundreds of investors from the United States and around the world that Canada’s Tar Sands are a risky investment.
Community members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, located downstream from Alberta’s Tar Sands, continue to experience high rates of rare cancers and auto-immune diseases they believe are linked to the development of the Tar Sands.
"Investors need to know that our land, our lakes and our people are being poisoned by Tar Sands development so they can decide, with full disclosure, if they still want to put their money in a human rights and environmental nightmare," said Lionel Lepine, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
The environmental and social controversy over the Tar Sands is growing, creating increasing risk to investment including:
* A recent lawsuit filed by the Beaver Lake First Nation and the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation.
* Alberta and federal climate policies that allow Tar Sands emissions to continue to rise.
* The toxic tailings ponds, currently covering over 50 square kilometers, and projected to grow to 220 square kilometers as 1.8 billion litres of new material is pumped into them each day.
The environmental groups and First Nations will be challenging investors to drink water taken directly from Fort Chipewayan. ForestEthics, one of the environmental groups attending the protest, is sending an information package about the impacts of Tar Sands development on the climate, forests, water and species to international.
“The Tar Sands have become Canada’s ever expanding black hole and by the end of this conference we’re hoping investors see that the same hole will sink their money,” said Leah Henderson of ForestEthics.