Letter: Cannan asked to justify tar sands plant expansion

Open letter to Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan:

According to federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, your government’s recent decision to approve Shell Oil’s Jackpine tar sands plant expansion project in Alberta will cause irreparable environmental damage to First Nations lands. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/potentially-damaging-jackpine-oilsands-mine-expansion-ok-d-by-ottawa-1.2454849)

About 8,500 hectares of wetlands and their important and sensitive environmental values will be lost forever by this project.

How Shell Oil plans to offset this loss by trading the impact area for 730 hectares of cow pasture is not detailed and at this time should be assumed to be infeasible and unproven.

Importantly, your government put Shell Oil ahead of Canadians when it ignored First Nations peoples their right to participate in a meaningful public discussion on a project that will have significant impacts on their lands, resources and health.

Your decision on this project shows Canadians that federal environmental protection, public participation and strategic industrial policies are seriously flawed.

Simply put, you have failed to protect the public trust, democracy and human rights.

I welcome your reply explaining the democratic principles behind the Jackpine decision.

And I look forward to also receiving a public cost benefit analysis and remediation plans detailing how this project provides net benefits to all Canadians over the long-term, including all of the public health care costs needed to address First Nations health issues arising from this project.

Richard Drinnan,



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