Jennifer Grant, director of the Pembina Institute's oilsands program, made the following statement in response to the release of the Fall 2010 report of the Federal Commissioner on Environment and Sustainable Development.
"Today the Environment Commissioner confirmed that the federal government is failing to adequately monitor and report on the quality and quantity of Canada's fresh water. The federal government has not defined its water monitoring responsibilities, nor has it responded to threats to Canada's water resources, including high risk areas such as those facing oilsands development.
"For the second year in a row, the Environment Commissioner has shown that Canada is failing to meet its responsibility to protect the environment in the oilsands. This is further evidence that the federal government needs to shift from promoting the oilsands through public relations efforts and lobbying outside Canada, to actually fulfilling its responsibilities to help address the pressing environmental issues.
"In addition to a systematic approach to plan, implement, track and improve its water monitoring activities, the federal government can exercise its responsibility to protect the water in northeastern Alberta by setting low-flow limits on the Athabasca River and by setting enforceable limits on water pollution."
Oilsands Program Director, Pembina Institute
The Pembina Institute report Duty Calls: Federal responsibility in Canada's oilsands
outlines the laws mandating federal involvement in environmental
management of the oilsands, and explores what's at stake if Ottawa
continues to neglect this responsibility.