Today, Indigenous, environmental, and public interest organizations called on the Canadian government and the new Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to immediately reject the proposal for the Teck Frontier Mine at a press conference in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton).
As noted in a previous blog post, the Frontier mine would produce the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as roughly 10 million new cars on the road.
Minister Wilkinson will be representing the Canadian Government in Madrid, Spain for the next round of global climate negotiations - yet if Teck is approved, it would compromise Canada’s ability to reduce CO2 emissions, and completely contradict our federal climate targets and our commitments to the Paris Agreement. Approval for Teck Frontier would also make it impossible for Canada to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Local Indigenous peoples continue to assert existing tar sands projects are undermining their rights and nothing to date has reassured them that the massive impacts of the proposed Teck Frontier mine will be any different,” said Eriel Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action. “This is Minister Wilkinson’s first opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to strong climate action and respect for Indigenous rights by rejecting the proposed Teck Frontier Mine.”
The negative impacts of this mine are clear: permanent and irreversible damage to wetlands, peat lands, old growth forests, and Indigenous communities.
If built, Teck Resources Ltd, Frontier Mine would be on Treaty 8 territory, in an area that has been untouched by industrial development and continues to be home to one of the last existing, free-roaming, disease-free, herds of wood bison. This area is also directly along the migration route for the only wild population of endangered whooping crane, in close proximity to many Indigenous settlements, and 30 km from the boundary of UNESCO World Heritage site Wood Buffalo National Park.
The Council of Canadians has been following this situation for over a year, drawing attention to the wild things Teck said at the hearings for the mine, and submitting and presenting as an intervenor in previous hearings by a federal-provincial Joint Review Panel on the mine.
The same arguments continue to apply - the mine is against our responsibility as treaty people, is uneconomic, and doesn’t uphold our government’s commitments to our planet.
Minister Wilkinson has repeatedly said the climate crisis is his government’s priority - this is his chance to prove it. Today, the Council supports Indigenous Climate Action, Beaver Hills Warriors, Keepers of the Water, Climate Justice Edmonton, Oil Change International, CPAWS Northern Alberta, and other local organizations in sending a clear message to Minister Wilkinson and his government that we need a plan for a just transition that upholds Indigenous rights, protects workers, and builds a future for all of us, instead of a dead-end mine. You can watch the press conference here.
The Council of Canadians has signed on to the letter reflecting this demand - and so can you! Click here to sign on to the letter calling for Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to immediately reject the proposal for the Teck Frontier Mine.