Tar Sands and Water Don’t Mix – Environment Hearings in Canada

posted by Rainforest Action Network

The Federal Government’s Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development is undertaking a study of water and the tar sands in May, 2009. Public hearings will be taking place in Ottawa (May 7), Edmonton (May 12), and Calgary (May 13), in addition to site visits of Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan (May 11). At the hearings selected downstream community leaders, scientists, environmental organizations, and industry representatives will all be providing testimonies. There are still however a number of voices that have been completely excluded from this process one of them of course being yours.
Events will be happening in Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary to help bring the voices of the forum to the public and allow spaces for the voices of the public to be heard.

Ottawa – May 7th, 2009

Polaris, Sierra Club, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Council of Canadians, Environmental Defense and the Rainforest Action Network have come together to host a panel on the impacts of Tar Sands the evening of the hearings.  

In addition they will be calling a conference call to request the government respond quickly and appropriately to the hearings.

Fort Chipewyan – May 11, 2009

The federal committee relented to have a two hour “informal” hearing on the 11th in Fort Chipewyan.  The community is mobilizing to ensure that voices of Fort Chipewyan are heard by the committee.

Edmonton and Calgary  – May 12 & 13, 2009

Tar Sands Public Meeting – May 12th 7 – 10pm

Linda Duncan will host a public meeting on May 12, to talk about the impact of tar sands developments on the environment and First Nations. Linda has invited Chief Allan Adams of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Chief Francois Paulette, Elder Spokesman for the Smiths Landing First Nation and former Grand Chief of Treaty Eight, to speak to the meeting and take questions and comments.

Tar Sands and Water Don’t Mix – Public Rally – May 13th, 2009

This event is still being planned by a group of Alberta based organizers and the time of the rally is set to correspond with the time a) the world’s richest oil companies are greenwashing the hearings or b) the time the Alberta government is attempting to greenwash the tarsands.

If you can’t make any of these events you can submit a factual brief to the committee!

Any organization or individual may submit a written brief to a committee of the House of Commons, even if they did not have the opportunity to appear as a witness. 

– The brief should include factual information to substantiate the views expressed and the claims made;
– recommendations to the committee should be as specific as possible, especially in terms of suggested amendments to bills;
– the name and address of the association, organization or person submitting the brief should be clearly indicated on the title page;


Committee clerk – 
Normand Radford