Province Told To Put Oilsands Projects On Hiatus

Friday, August 14, 2009 at 14:54



An independent environmental group is recommending a three- to four-year halt to oilsands development in the province’s northwest.


The Saskatchewan Environmental Society says it would be both foolish and dangerous for the province to rush into oilsands development, without first setting strict guidelines for itself and oil companies.


Spokesman Peter Prebble says a multi-year window would enable northerners to assist with prepatory work — such as land use planning, mapping aquifers and deciding what lands should be protected — before further development is approved.


He says the province also needs to allow time for consulting the public, especially affected First Nations and Metis, and setting up a regulatory framework for the industry.


However, Prebble says the province has shown no willingness to wait until guidelines have been set for the Saskatchewan oilsands industry — and that haste could be costly for future generations of northerners.