Monday, July 19, 2010

Why the Commons Enviro Committee Shredded the Tar Sands Report

Kudos to The Tyee for landing Andrew Nikiforuk as "writer in residence." Nikiforuk has brought Canadians some of the best, most insightful and compelling insights into the Athabasca Tar Sands. Now he's explaining why our parliamentarians - of all parties - shredded their long-awaited report into the mega-project/mega-boondoggle's water impacts.

Read Nikiforuk's piece here. It's a story of petro-state corruption and neglect, a theme explored at length in the author's excellent book Tar Sands. Here is Nikiforuk's list of some of the things our MPs would rather you not know:

"The facts show that Canadian regulators have not behaved responsibly, honorably or prudently.

Ottawa has squandered surface and groundwater resources in the region.

It has failed to collect baseline data making the project both unsafe and insecure.

The ponds are leaking and the project is polluting the river.

The federal government has failed to issue national standards for regulating tar-sands pollutants such as naphthenic acids.

It, too, has neglected to transparently monitor water quality and quantity in the world's third largest watershed.

This evidence partly explains why the committee destroyed its final report. Tory MPs that behave like wannabe bitumen salesmen explain the rest."

It's probably understandable the Harper government and the Ignatieff opposition would want this report shredded. It's a disgrace to both of them.


double nickel said...

I just listened to Andrew's interview on CBC Radio. If anyone deserves the Order of Canada or whatever our version of a Pulitzer is, he does.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've just finished Nikiforuk's brilliant "Tar Sands." We should all read it and then ask what business any of our leaders have in promoting the Tar Sands. Iggy has plainly chosen Big Oil over the interests of Canada and the Canadian people. I'm convinced Liberals need to decide where their loyalties really lie - with the party or with their country. You can't have it both ways any more.

LMA said...

Iggy is sometimes portrayed by Liberal bloggers as taking a fair, common sense approach to the Tar Sands, e.g., we need the jobs, it's a unity issue, technology will clean up the mess, blah, blah, blah. When one questions this approach, one is viewed as an enemy of the Liberals.

As you say MoS, you can't have it both ways anymore. The dirty truth about the Tar Sands is out there for all to see. Either you care about protecting the environment and oppose Iggy's support of the Tar Sands, or you ignore the facts and support him blindly as some bloggers appear to be doing.