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NEWS: O’Connor raises concerns about deformed fish near tar sands

Dr. John O’Connor

The Edmonton Journal reports that, “Concern over fish found downstream from oilsands developments in Alberta with discoloured bodies, deformities and rotting flesh have spurred calls for an investigation. Fishermen, scientists, First Nations chiefs, health professionals and residents have all signed a request sent Thursday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a probe into the health of the fish.”

“(Renowned aquatics ecologist David) Schindler and health professionals, such as (Council of Canadians Board member) Dr. John O’Connor and Dr. William Griffin, who work in the isolated northeastern Alberta community of Fort Chipewyan, said the deformed fish raise concerns for the residents of Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan, many of whom consume fish as an important part of their diet and traditional lifestyle. Schindler said that science has already shown that contaminants in oilsands waste water cause death and deformities in fish embryos.”

The Globe and Mail adds, “Prominent scientists, two area doctors, five past and present First Nations leaders, a local member of the legislature, the mayor of the Wood Buffalo municipality that includes Fort McMurray, and other area residents all support a letter requesting such a study that was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper…”

The Edmonton Journal article can be read at The Globe and Mail article is at