LETTER – Tell MPs to stop new tar sands mine in northern Alberta

I must admit to being appalled when our previous government used 4.5 billion dollars of our tax money to purchase the Trans mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan.

Who wouldn’t be taken aback at such overt hypocrisy after promising drastic emission reductions at the Paris COP?

Hadn’t they promised to cease subsidies to the oil industry? stated their priority for reconciliation with indigenous peoples? declared a climate emergency?
How could one rationalize the pipeline purchase with these policy statements?

In some ways the contradiction reminded me of how “unsinkable” the Titanic was just before running into the iceberg. In that case it was the power of nature over man’s hubris, but we are nearing a similar situation by the end of this month.

Our most recent government must make a decision that could make or break Canada’s promises to Paris, and the world, that we mean what we say about being “back” from the abominable lack of climate reduction policies of the Harper government.

The Liberal cabinet must decide by the end of February, whether to use the old and toxic environmental assessment process used by Harper to allow or reject Tech Resources in building the largest ever open-pit tarsand mine (twice the area of Vancouver) in northern Alberta.

If allowed, this $20-billion giant project just upstream from Wood Buffalo National Park (created in 1922 and already listed by UNESCO as being “in danger”) will not only destroy critical habitat for many “at risk” species such as bison, caribou, and whooping cranes but also huge swaths of rapidly diminishing arboreal forest.

Several of our provinces, led by Alberta and Saskatchewan, are putting increasing pressure on the Liberal cabinet to allow this mine to be built, regardless of the enormous destruction of an area critical to the survival of the Mikisew Nation and Athabaska Nation.

In order to avoid another incident like the Titanic pitting the environment against man’s short sightedness, anybody who is serious about leaving a liveable world for their descendants should get hold of their MP and insist on the rejection of the Tech Frontier Tarsands mine.


About Mel Rothenburger (8033 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on LETTER – Tell MPs to stop new tar sands mine in northern Alberta

  1. L Dawne Taylor // February 4, 2020 at 9:45 AM // Reply

    Thanks Ian for your letter. And I agree with the previous comment – we do what we can, but we are under no illusion that one decision in Canada can reverse the Titanic.

  2. Ken Mcclelland // February 4, 2020 at 9:27 AM // Reply

    Yes, let’s keep importing foreign oil while our own citizens are, and will remain, out of work. Even the current government concedes we will need petroleum for years to come, and it is needed to assist in the development of renewable energy sources as well (even given lots of water and fertilizer of the bovine variety, those beloved windmills don’t grow like trees, nor do solar panels). With our relatively small population, Canada should be self-sufficient in energy for starters, as the US currently is. Many First Nations welcome resource developments for the increased economic, employment and social opportunities they provide to their members. Just because the protesters have the loudest voices doesn’t make them right. Check Skeena MLA Ellis Ross’ comments, easily found, on the majority of First Nations communities in his area feelings on paid protesters and foreign-funded obstructionism.

  3. I am all for drastic measures and a renewed sense of environmental stewardship but let’s be pragmatic for a second here. Even if Canada’s total contribution to global warming would to cease suddenly, I doubt very much we would be reversing course on a global scale.
    Having said that though, a moratorium on further Tarsands development would be a welcome development in my opinion.

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