It is imperative that the Alberta government work together with the federal government to find solutions to the tailings ponds that do not involve dumping tailings – treated or not – into the Athabasca River. Since fossil fuel companies have made, and continue to make, enormous profits off the industry which has created this mess, it is only fair that they be required to fund meaningful clean up and reclamation. Any and all decisions made regarding the cleanup of the tailings must be made with the free, prior, and informed consent of impacted Indigenous peoples within these communities.
Industry and government are using the massive and growing volume of the tailings ponds as justification for a new set of regulations – regulations which could allow for tailings pond water to be improperly treated and released into the Athabasca River.
A just cleanup of the tar sands and tailings ponds is a key aspect of a just transition. Send an email to Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change), Rebecca Schulz (Minister of Environment and Protected Areas), and your MLA if you live in Alberta.
Demand a just cleanup of the tar sands and tailings ponds for a just transition and let’s make this a primary focus of the upcoming election!