Review of Alberta oilsands monitoring program set for release

EDMONTON - The first review of environmental monitoring set up by Alberta and Ottawa in the oilsands region is expected to be released today.

See Full Article

The independent review is to assess how effective the program has been in measuring the impact of industry development. It is also to lay out how well the jointly run program is tracking changes in the area.

The program, funded by $50 million from industry, was set up in 2012 after intense criticism of how the Alberta government was doing the job. It was designed by federal and Alberta scientists and is run by both levels of government.

It was supposed to have been fully implemented by the end of last year, but uncertainties with the program remain.

It lacks involvement from local First Nations, who pulled out in protest over what they say was inadequate attention to their environmental concerns.

There are also questions about whether the program's funding is adequate. A mobile air-testing unit had to be pulled off the road when it was decided there wasn't enough money in the budget to pay for repairs.

Officials with Alberta's monitoring agency have said the organization has only been fully operational for about a year and is still evaluating the real cost of comprehensive and scientifically sound monitoring in the oilsands region and the rest of Alberta.

The new program was initiated after scientific studies indicated that, while overall levels remained low, contaminants in the land and water around oilsands developments were increasing.

Two peer reviews, as well as an expert scientific panel from the Royal Society of Canada, were also harshly critical.

Jim Prentice, federal environment minister at the time, pressured the Alberta government to change its approach.

The new oilsands program is administered by the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Agency. That agency is eventually to conduct environmental monitoring over the entire province.


Latest Economic News

  • A $31B problem: How Canada sucks at reducing food waste

    Economic CBC News
    France has made it illegal for supermarkets to waste food, and Italy is offering tax breaks when businesses donate leftovers. But a policy that addresses food waste in Canada won't be in place any time soon. Source
  • Trade deal with Canada still possible: EU chief

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- The president of the European Union still hopes that a free trade between the bloc and Canada can be signed at a summit this week despite Belgium's refusal so far to sign on. Source
  • NEB revises down oil production outlook on lower prices, changing regulations

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- The National Energy Board has revised down its long-term outlook for oil prices and Canadian production in the face of lower global industry costs and stricter environmental regulations. In an update released Wednesday, the regulator projects inflation-adjusted oil prices rising to US$68 a barrel by 2020 and US$90 by 2040, $12 and $17 a barrel lower, respectively, than in its January report. Source
  • Asian stocks hit by gloom on Wall Street

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Shares fell broadly in Asia on Wednesday after a gloomy session on Wall Street, where shares of household names like appliance maker Whirlpool and athletic apparel maker Under Armour suffered their worst declines in years. Source
  • New Wells Fargo CEO to employees: 'We're sorry'

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Newly appointed Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan told employees Tuesday that he is "sorry for the pain" that the bank's employees have suffered as a result of the company's sales practices scandal. Source
  • Canadian malls need to diversify to become destinations for shoppers, say experts

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The rise of online shopping is forcing Canadian malls to diversify and become destinations that offer a range of services including entertainment and sporting venues in addition to traditional clothing stores, a Montreal real estate conference heard Tuesday. Source
  • Quebec says it's on track for $2.2-billion surplus in current fiscal year

    Economic CTV News
    Quebec is projecting a higher than expected surplus of $2.2 billion in the current fiscal year and is also abolishing a health tax two years ahead of schedule. Information available over the summer led the government to call for a surplus of $1.8 billion for fiscal 2016-17, which ends next March 31, but Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Tuesday that provincial revenues have increased more than expected. Source
  • Pipeline company asks protesters to leave North Dakota land

    Economic CTV News
    CANNON BALL, N.D. - The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline said Tuesday that the dozens of protesters who have camped on company-owned land since the weekend are trespassing and that "lawless behaviour will not be tolerated. Source
  • Red ink will rule, but optimism in the oilpatch as earnings released

    Economic CBC News
    Precision Drilling announced some full-on good news last week with its third-quarter earnings. Although the company lost $47 million in the third quarter and revenue was down by nearly a half, it also said that it had rehired 1,000 workers. Source
  • CN Rail slightly raises outlook for 2016 despite dip in Q3 profits, revenues

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Canadian National Railway Co. boosted its earnings forecast for 2016 despite seeing its profits and revenues decline in the third quarter. The Montreal-based railway raised it outlook for the year, saying it expects adjusted earnings will increase by about one per cent above the $4.44 per share earned last year. Source