Comment period opens for $20.6-billion Frontier oilsands mine project in Alberta

If it’s true that the era of mega oilsands projects is coming to an end, one proposed project stands as an outlier.

Image result for Teck Frontier oilsands project
A mining shovel fills a haul vehicle at the Shell Albian Sands oilsands mine near Fort McMurray, Alta. (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh)

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is inviting public comment on the proposed Frontier oilsands mine project in northern Alberta.

The agency, which was until recently called the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, says the public and Indigenous groups can comment on potential environmental assessment conditions for the project until Nov. 24.

The $20.6-billion mine proposed by Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. for a site 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray would be built in two phases with ultimate production capacity of about 260,000 barrels per day of bitumen.

In July, a federal-provincial panel ruled that the project near Wood Buffalo National Park was in the public interest, even though it could significantly harm the environment and Indigenous people.

The panel’s report included recommended conditions for Teck and the federal and provincial governments including mitigating harm to wildlife, monitoring pollutants and taking feedback from nearby First Nations into account.

Following the public comment period, the minister of Environment and Climate Change is to consider comments received as well as the panel report in order to make an environmental assessment decision for the project.

The federal cabinet has until the end of February to make its decision on the project itself.  SOURCE

VALÉRIE CABANES: ICC SHOULD RECOGNIZE THE CRIME OF ECOCIDE

Valérie Cabanes

Lawyer and activist Valérie Cabanes has seen situations on all the world’s continents where people’s fundamental rights are being undermined by harm to their natural environment.

I realized the direct link that exists between major damage to a local ecosystem and human rights violations against a population that relies on it for survival.

Here she describes some of these situations,  analyses recent environmental pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and  proposes an international legal structure putting as its priority the respect of the global ecosystem to restore security and peace. MORE