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NDP MP says tar sands spill shows need for more Indigenous involvement in environmental monitoring – APTN News

Apr 20, 2023

NDP MP Blake Desjarlais says Indigenous communities in northern Alberta have been completely let down by both government and industry in the wake of a tailings pond leak from the Kearl tar sands mine project.

“Let’s be clear,” the Edmonton MP told Nation to Nation, “this is occurring again and again and again and as much as I am shocked by this I’m certainly not surprised. We’ve seen nations and in particular this nation (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation) in the past make calls for greater certainty of how these spills would be reported.

“The AER (Alberta Energy Regulator) knew about what was happening, the Alberta government knew exactly what was happening but the nation most affected did not.”

Contaminated water began seeping from the mine site in May 2022 but First Nations and Métis communities in the Athabasca tar sands region were not made aware of the leak until February of 2023 – more than nine months later.

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