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Archive for February 25th, 2008

Unanimous passing of No New Oil Sands Approvals resolution at the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs Meeting.

Posted by mhudema on February 25, 2008

Unanimous passing of No New Oil Sands Approvals resolution at the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs Meeting.
 
Calgary  – From Wednesday to Friday of last week, Treaty Chiefs representing the Treaties 6,7 and 8 nations of Alberta met and passed a resolution, unanimously, to support the calls for no new oil sands approvals until Treaty First Nations have approved a comprehensive watershed management plan and resource development plan for the region.
 
“It is time for the Alberta Government to feel the pressure that our communities have been feeling for so long, the tide has turned in our favour,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Fort Chipewyan First Nation, “Thresholds have to be put in place that will protect ecosystem and human health along with the well being of our land.”
 
The Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan Dene First Nation and member of the Keepers of the Athabasca brought forward the resolution moved by Chief Janvier of the Cold Lake First Nation and seconded by Chief Laboucan of the Driftpile First Nation. After a few minor additions to the resolution it passed, on Friday, unanimously. 
 
“The cumulative impacts of oil sands development has all but destroyed the traditional livelihood of First Nations in northern Athabasca watershed.  The law is clear that First Nations must be consulted whenever the province contemplates action that may negatively affect Aboriginal and treaty rights,” explains Keepers of the Athabasca member Vivienne Beisel (B.A., LL.B., LL.M), ” The province has continued to issue approvals for new developments without obtaining their consent or consulting with First Nations in a meaningful and substantial way.  This is in direct breach of Treaty 8 First Nations’ treaty-protected Aboriginal rights to livelihood, and thus a violation of s.35(1) of the Constitution and Articles 26 and 27 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, and international agreement which Canada, along with three other nations, has refused to sign.”

Keepers of the Athabasca is a new non profit organization working to unite the peoples of the Athabasca River and Lake Watershed to secure and protect water and watershed lands for ecological, social, cultural and community health and well-being.  

“We came to the Treaty Chiefs of Alberta meeting last week to request an inquiry into the lack of consultation by all levels of government and our peoples regarding the impacts of oil sands development.,” states Chief Albert Mercredi of the Fond du Lac First Nation, located on the eastern shores of Lake Athabasca, “Pollution from the developments do not stop at the political borders between Alberta and neighbouring provinces.  The Federal Government and the Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan have a legal duty to consult and accommodate around the uncertainties associated with development and their impacts on our right to livelihood.”
 
Gaining the support of the Treaty Chiefs is an important step for the Keepers of the Athabasca, as there are 15 directly affected First Nations reserve-based communities as well as numerous other indigenous communities. 
 
“In passing a resolution for no new oil sands approvals, the chief’s of Alberta have shown great leadership,” says Peter Cyprien, co-chair of Keepers of the Athabasca, who was present at the passing of the resolution, “it is our hope now, as citizens of Fort Chipewyan, that the Government of Alberta and Canada will show the same leadership,”
 
The Keepers of the Athabasca are committed to completing a community-based watershed management plan based on the interests, rights and needs of the residents living throughout the basin.  They have planned to visit communities along the Athabasca River this summer and with the goal of completing a report on the state of the Athabasca River and Lake Basin.
 
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Greenwasher of the decade….

Posted by mhudema on February 25, 2008

And the greenwasher of the decade is …

… no, it’s not Toyota (but don’t get me started). And no, it’s not Wal-Mart (I’ll be doing a piece on them later). No, it’s not GM, though they are trying hard, really hard. No, the winner, which has all the others over the proverbial barrel, is British Petroleum.

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Tory leader panned over pipeline

Posted by mhudema on February 25, 2008

Jason Fekete and Gordon Jaremko; With files from Heath McCoy, Calgary Herald, and Archie McLean, Legislature Bureau.
Calgary Herald; Edmonton Journal
A Greenpeace activist protests the oilsands at a campaign stop by Tory Leader Ed Stelmach in Hinton on Saturday. Stelmach came under fire from critics who say he's failing to protect Alberta's resource industry, following approval of a pipeline to ship bitumen to refineries in the United States for processing.
CREDIT: Jenelle Schneider, Calgary Herald
A Greenpeace activist protests the oilsands at a campaign stop by Tory Leader Ed Stelmach in Hinton on Saturday. Stelmach came under fire from critics who say he’s failing to protect Alberta’s resource industry, following approval of a pipeline to ship bitumen to refineries in the United States for processing.
CREDIT: Chris Schwarz, Edmonton Journal
Liberal Leader Kevin Taft, centre, campaigning in Wainwright on Saturday, said the Tories are “letting Albertans’ wealth go south of the border.”

HINTON – Conservative Leader Ed Stelmach was criticized Saturday for failing to stem the flow of bitumen to the United States after regulatory approval was given to a pipeline project that will ship the product south.

The National Energy Board’s approval late Friday of the $3-billion Alberta Clipper pipeline will initially see up to 450,000 barrels of bitumen per day shipped to Wisconsin when it becomes operational in mid-2010, with the potential to reach 800,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline is one of several projects announced or approved in the past year that will see bitumen upgraded or refined in the United States, sending potentially billions of investment dollars and thousands of value-added jobs down the pipeline.

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