Sierra Club Canada applauds Syncrude court ruling

OTTAWA – Syncrude Canada Ltd. was found guilty today on federal and provincial charges and may now face fines of up to $800 000.

“It is great to see Syncrude charged as guilty under federal and provincial laws," said Sheila Muxlow, Interim Director of Sierra Club Prairie. "I just hope the federal and provincial governments see that it's time to shut these projects down and begin the transition towards a clean, green, renewable energy economy."

The verdict concludes a nine-week trial launched against Syncrude when 1600 ducks died after landing in a toxic tailings pond near Fort McMurray in April 2008. As part of Sierra Club Canada’s policy to ensure that environmental laws are properly applied across the country, the Club’s Prairie chapter filed a private prosecution against Syncrude in January 2009. The embarrassed Canadian and Albertan governments then took over the case, charging Syncrude with failing to employ measures to protect the birds as required by federal and provincial law.

“This has to be a first,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “A lot of people will be shocked to learn it's possible to violate Alberta's environmental protection laws. It certainly will be news for the oil companies.”



Robb Barnes 
Communications Intern 
Sierra Club Canada 
[email protected] 
613.241.4611 x230