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Peter Foster: Who monitors the oil sands monitors? – Financial Post


The Ottawa-Alberta oil sands monitoring regime looks like a mess. It said evidence of mercury in bird eggs presented no risk, but didn’t provide the science to back up the claim.

Natural Resources Canada is planning a global $24-million two-year campaign to promote the oil sands. It will have its hands full combating the media savvy of its big money NGO opponents, but it might also spend some time trying to render the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring regime, JOSM, which it runs with Alberta, more credible. At the moment, JOSM looks like a mess. This can hardly make the oil industry happy, since it has committed to support the program — to the tune of $50-million annually — on a put up and shut up basis.

Mark Twain is credited with saying that “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” He could never have imagined that his quip would become literally true. Thanks to the Internet, misinformation can span the globe while government and business bureaucracies are still composing invitations to the next crisis management session.

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