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Alberta Wetland Policy Exempts Oilsands Industry, Abandons No-Net-Loss in Prairies

10 Sep 2013

The Alberta government’s wetland policy announced today will exempt all approved and near-term foreseeable oilsands projects from wetland offsets or restoration. For prairie wetlands, the policy drops the current clear no-net-loss policy goal and exposes even the highest value unprotected wetlands to destruction. This policy will promote ongoing loss of wetlands that purify water, reduce flood and drought severity, and provide crucial wildlife habitat. Read more »

Posted September 12, 2013 by AEN

South Saskatchewan Plan Delaying Conservation

Sensitive Milk River Ridge Grasslands Open to Oil Exploration

9 Sep 2013

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) has learned that sensitive rough fescue and mixed grasslands on the Milk River Ridge are being opened up to exploration activity in the Alberta Bakken oil play. At the same time, efforts to secure legal designation for these lands are being delayed until the Government of Alberta releases its South Saskatchewan Region Plan (SSRP). Read more »

Posted September 9, 2013 by AEN

Pembina Institute takes province to court over right to speak at oilsands hearings

Government documents show precedent of province blocking Pembina’s participation in oilsands hearings because of critical analysis of government policies
5 Sep 2013

EDMONTON — The Pembina Institute was in court today appealing a Government of Alberta decision not to allow the energy policy think tank to participate in the regulatory review of a proposed in situ oilsands project, arguing the government broke provincial rules for public participation in the review of energy projects. Read more »

Posted September 5, 2013 by AEN

Progress update shows little change, two years after road map to responsible oilsands development released

With substantial progress on only two of 19 recommendations, faster implementation of oilsands environmental solutions needed to secure social license for future development

29 Apr 2013

Edmonton — Two years after the Pembina Institute outlined 19 steps toward responsible oilsands development in a report entitled Solving the Puzzle, and one year after Alison Redford won a majority government, very little progress has been made on the recommended policy improvements, according to an update released by the Institute today. Read more »

Posted April 29, 2013 by AEN

Alberta Again Violates Caribou Policies With Today's Energy Leasing

24 Apr 2013

“Alberta Energy promotes caribou habitat disturbance by selling leases that drive new well sites, ignoring technology options to reduce existing footprint,” says Carolyn Campbell, AWA conservation specialist.  “In the Little Smoky range with over 95% disturbance, the government wages war on wolves and moose while encouraging more industry footprint that drives caribou population declines.” Read more »

Posted April 24, 2013 by AEN

Stop Alberta Energy Leases in Threatened Little Smoky Caribou Range

6 Feb 2013

In violation of Alberta’s 2011 woodland caribou policy that places an immediate priority on maintaining caribou habitat, Alberta Energy plans auctions of new oil and gas leases within the Little Smoky caribou range on February 7, March 7 and April 25, 2013. This herd’s habitat is already 95% disturbed, according to Environment Canada. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) has issued an open letter to Alberta’s Energy Minister urging him to defer these lease sales as a step towards responsible habitat management for this herd at imminent risk of local extinction. Read more »

Posted February 6, 2013 by AEN

Prairie Grasslands and Species at Risk Protected

Government Sets High Bar for Suffield National Wildlife Area

30 Nov 2012

The seven-group Suffield Coalition today applauded the government’s decision to deny approval of Cenovus' (previously EnCana) proposal to drill 1,275 natural gas wells and construct associated infrastructure in the Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA). Suffield NWA was established in 2003 to protect endangered native prairie and the many species of animals and plants at risk in the area, including at least 15 federally listed species threatened with extinction. Read more »

Posted November 30, 2012 by AEN

Bill 8: Government Listens with Selective Hearing

5 Nov 2012

The recent announcement that the Government of Alberta will introduce Bill 8 (Electric Utilities Amendment Act, 2012) to effectively overturn amendments made through Bill 50 (Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009) is underwhelming to say the least.

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) applauds the bill that would require all future transmission infrastructure projects go through a full needs-assessment process by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), but we are acutely disappointed that Bill 8 does not address the significant projects approved under Bill 50. Read more »

Posted November 8, 2012 by AEN

Coalition calls on panel to reject Shell Jackpine oilsands mine expansion

29 Oct 2012

CALGARY — With public hearings into a proposed oilsands mine expansion set to begin today, a coalition of environmental groups is calling on the joint federal-provincial review panel to reject the project.

Shell’s proposal to expand its Jackpine oilsands mine would increase production at the existing facility by 100,000 barrels per day. The company’s environmental assessment shows that expanding the Jackpine oilsands mine along with other planned developments will harm fish and wildlife, damage wetlands and old growth forests, exceed legally binding air quality limits and cause acid rain. It will leave a legacy of toxic waste buried in lakes, damage two significant rivers, and produce greenhouse gas pollution that will put Canada’s and Alberta’s climate targets further out of reach. Read more »

Posted October 29, 2012 by AEN

Alberta’s Failing Grade for Species at Risk Management is Well Deserved

9 Oct 2012

A recent report released by Eco-Justice gave Alberta a well deserved failing grade for its species at risk management.  Unlike many other provinces, Alberta has no legislation specific to species at risk, a voluntary system to list species, no requirement to protect species’ habitat and no legal requirement to implement recovery action.   The Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is not surprised by this failing grade. Read more »

Posted October 18, 2012 by AEN

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