Province Must Consult Public On Oilsands: SES

Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 14:39



An environmental watchdog group is urging the Saskatchewan government not to repeat Alberta’s mistakes in regards to oilsands development.


The Saskatchewan Environmental Society today released a report called “Carbon Copy: Preventing Oil Sands Fever in Saskatchewan”.


The group says before Saskatchewan gets too far along in the process of developing oilsands projects in the northwest, the province needs to pause in order to consult with the public, especially those who will be most affected by emissions


Their recommendations include establishing conservation areas in the northwest, regulating groundwater contamination and greenhouse gases, and creating a royalty system that maximizes benefits for Saskatchewan residents.


The society is also urging the province to fulfill its duty to consult affected First Nations and Metis people.


That’s something that La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois says Oilsands Quest, the company developing in her area, has done far better at than the government has.


“The leaders (of Oilsands Quest) come to our communities. They have another public forum coming up (Aug.) 26-28, to do updates. They’re doing that — they’re coming to us, to our communities, and talking to our people. … The provincial government, the Ministry of the Environment, they’re not doing that.”


However, Jolibois says the federal and provincial governments are monitoring Oilsands Quest’s activities, so there is some accountability there already.