August 4th, 2020
Trudeau must do better than joining Kenney in environmental cuts
VICTORIA – Media reports have revealed a deal signed a month ago by Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals with Alberta’s conservatives that cuts oilsands environmental monitoring, even as UCP Premier Jason Kenney has been moving forward with other cuts to environmental protections across the province.
“Climate leaders don’t leave oilsands companies to operate freely without proper environmental monitoring,” said NDP Critic for Environment and Climate Change Laurel Collins. “The Liberals are blaming the pandemic for the reduction of monitoring, but the reality is they were not doing their job even before COVID hit. Less monitoring means fewer protections and more chances for leaks, spills, and other disasters that could hurt our health and severely damage our planet – especially the water we drink.”
According to the Canadian Press, this Trudeau-Kenney deal would eliminate important studies regarding the effects of oilsands projects on the local environment and monitoring downstream from the oilsands. These studies would provide important information on the effects of tailings ponds on vulnerable waterways and areas including the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wood Buffalo National Park. These cuts also come as Jason Kenney’s conservative government is looking at releasing oilsands tailings into the river.
“You can’t explain away this deal with cost cutting. Spills don’t wait for the pandemic to be over and if Justin Trudeau wants any credibility on the environment, he needs to do better than work with people like Jason Kenney to cut protections and put drinking water and our environment at greater risk,” said NDP Deputy Leader, Alexandre Boulerice. “It’s unacceptable that Minister Wilkinson signed this deal and then hoped no one would notice. The Liberals can’t keep saying one thing, doing another, and hope no one notices. We need real leadership when it comes to climate change.”