What effect is oil-sands development in Alberta having on Canada?

Tracey Mann
Board of directors, Vancouver Green party

“Canada is positioning itself in a place where it is not examining its contribution to climate change.”¦They [federal politicians] are not making a concerted effort to explore the other natural resources we have available to us that would have less of an impact on the environment. In a sense, by continuing to explore the tar sands, it is saying it is not sold on the idea of climate change.”

John Winter
President and CEO, B.C. Chamber of Commerce

“There are benefits, but also implications for managing the climate-control issue. But I think it is going to take greater minds than mine to figure out the balance that is going to be required. Mr. Stelmach’s 14-percent [emissions-reduction] target by 2050 is less than overwhelming, but at the same time you have to see the implications of that.”

Mike Hudema
Climate and energy campaigner, Greenpeace

“The tar sands themselves are certainly holding any type of action on climate change hostage. I think that is the reason why we are seeing the federal government’s stance in Bali, and it is also why we are seeing [premier] Stelmach’s stance within Alberta. It is because of the tremendous greenhouse-gas impact the tar sands are having.”

Mark Jaccard
SFU professor, author, and energy expert

“There are tar ponds in Nova Scotia, and we have flooded major valleys to build hydro power in British Columbia. So I think we have to be a little bit careful not to point the finger at the Albertans when it comes to what they are doing in their area. But, globally, they need to develop the tar sands without emitting greenhouse gases, and that is technologically possible.”


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Morgan Johnson

Jun 2, 2009 at 9:04am

I am a grade nine student in Alberta, but born from the east coast, and I believe that what Alberta is doing is completely ludicrous. Yes, we need oil to run our cars and heat our homes, but why not cut back? The planet can only have these natural resources for so long, and the amount of water used by the oil companies to extract this oil, is insane. People need to think less of money, and think more of what they can do to leave this planet in good condition when they leave it.