Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Tar Sands halt called for at "Oilsands consultations"

Oilsands committee told to halt development
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | 12:28 PM MT
CBC News

A provincial government committee touring Alberta to hear what people have to say about the pace of development in the oilsands were told on their Edmonton stop to halt development.

Everyone who spoke to the panel Tuesday night made passionate arguments in favour of stalling new projects until a wide range of problems are addressed.

"They are creating tons of jobs and many people are profiting from it, but they are doing it unsustainably. We don't need to exploit the oil as fast as we can," said Ryan Dick, a fourth-year business student at the University of Alberta.

Roberta Palynchuk says she hiked through Northern Alberta's forest in the 1970s, but those trees have been replaced by massive lakes of toxic waste water created by the oilsands companies, she said.

"I don't believe that as an Albertan I can be proud of that. These things have happened in our province unchecked."
Panel's second visit to Edmonton

The tone of comments from the public were similar at this hearing to the last time this panel, chaired by Vance MacNichol, was in Edmonton.
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Members have already travelled the province once and produced a report calling for the protection of the environment and for Albertans to benefit from the oil resources as much as possible.

This latest round is aimed at getting feedback on those ideas to see if this is what people actually want.

Alex Hindle, who spoke to the panel, said he's sceptical that the government will act on their concerns.

"I just think it's too much and too fast and I feel that it's sad, but I don't think the government or the oil industry has the ability, or the will, or the foresight to say let's slow down a little bit."

The panel is holding public hearings across the province, with the next stop in Bonnyville on April 10. A final report will be given to the government in the summer.

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