Showing posts with label water rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label water rights. Show all posts

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Same Headline Different Year- Tar Sands Monitoring

One year ago, the message that is pertinent today was titled Time to get serious about oil sands monitoring  
warning that the federal and provincial governments broke laws in failing to monitor industry and environment or to protect land rights of First Nations.

How we develop our oil sands, and whether we adhere to scientific standards, uphold our environmental laws and regulations, and meet our obligations to First Nations and future generations of Albertans will determine whether or not they are being developed ethically.WILLIAM F. DONAHUE, PH.D., LL.B., SPECIAL ADVISOR ON WATER POLICY — FEB 7, 2011
The very thorough analysis written for a blog about watershed and water rights protection is scientifically presented; that is its purpose.  It is also politically motivated.  Underpinning the understanding that water is a human right in a democratic country.  And certainly, the laws were not respected in the tar sands development.

Where were the consultations with the community?  Why are companies getting rights to land and continuing to expand beyond what is tolerable for the well being of the region?  Yet there is no real monitoring in place but plenty of promises.  Notice the date on the press release.  Well, not much different for February 9, 2012.

Jul 21, 2011 ... Environment Minister hopes plan will help improve reputation of Alberta energy sector.
Jul 21, 2011 ... Canada will boost monitoring of pollution from its oil sands projects, hoping to speed up U.S. approval of a pipeline to transport crude to the ...
Jul 22, 2011 ... Feds unveil "world class" tarsands PR monitoring plan. This week saw our federal, provincial and territorial energy ministers, minus Ontario, trot ...
Jul 21, 2011 ... Governments agree there is a problem, but are at odds about who should solve it or how.
Right, that was eight months ago and we saw nothing about the results.  Yet huge expanses have continued, not incrementally but were expedited to maximize the influx of investment.

1 day ago ... By Darcy Henton EDMONTON — Ottawa and Alberta are announcing a new strategy Friday to monitor the environmental impacts of the oil ... announced-friday/
The last link was yesterday.  You can see why nobody trusts that we will see any results for another three years.  Look at Environment Canada or Stats Can and the latest stats are from 2009 for water use.  So for 6 years, the world's biggest pollution will get to do its damage freely.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Non Reporting of Aboriginals Water Treatment Plant Needs

It is no longer possible to ignore the rights of Canada's aboriginals, now that they are crucial to much needed land access.  Long ghetoized and ignored in poverty and government neglect, their story of inequality has become a cause célèbre in the environmental issues of Canadian water rights.

“The report released today is shocking in that it reveals the quality of drinking water in First Nation communities is even worse than anticipated,” said the National Chief.  “More than half the water systems our people are using are risky systems.  While First Nations have been calling attention to this matter for years, today’s report should spark swift and urgent action to ensure the health and safety of our people.  Other Canadians would not tolerate this situation in their communities and we must not tolerate it in First Nation communities.” Assembly of First Nations 
Results for Alberta from Statistics Canada 

Contamination of Aboriginal Water is a Human Rights issue.  They own the land.  They must have water rights and water treatment plants that ensure healthy living on that land.  To neglect this fact is a sure method to extinguish the number of peoples who can live on reserves.  The government has for years walked away from water treatment projects by saying that there are no roads to access in order to build the plants.  Whereas there are no such excuses for not continuing to drill and push huge hulking machinery into the remotest regions of the Yukon in pursuit of minerals.

As anti fracking communities are gaining traction in the US with help of the EPA, shouldn't it now be time for investment into the north with Environment Canada water standards, water treatment, clean water standards and followup with action? And shouldn't environmental lawyers be lining up in droves to support Aboriginal water claims pro bono to fight for Aboriginal ownership of water on their land? 

Read Turtle Island News for the latest points of view from communities opposing such inaction and for true reporting from an Aboriginal perspective.