Tories promise greener Alberta oilsands
The province of Alberta yesterday unveiled their 20 year plan to expand production in the oilsands, while still being mindful of the environment and trying to stay as green as possible. This is a departure from previous measures that would have seen energy needs take a much more important role than an environmental one.
This move is what Premier Ed Stelmach called 'the brains' behind a long term plan to keep the oilsands going but not to destroy the surroundings. It will however, not slow development.
"None of what we're doing with respect to the strategies we have in place--the energy strategy, this oilsands strategy, the land-use framework--none of those things will slow development pace," Knight stressed. "They're not intended to do that."
Yet, slower and more orderly development is exactly what's needed, opposition leaders and environmental groups contend.
An oilsands company Syncrude Canada could have to pay a fine for failing to prevent 500 duck deaths on a northern Albera pond last spring and its executives could be jailed for up to six months. The Canadian government has pledged to bring harsher fines to environmental crimes and they are not going to be as lax in the future.
Canada does have environmental laws, and more needs to be done to enforce them.
Both Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Prime Minister Stephen Harper consider that the incident is unacceptable.