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Webinar: Tailings: Past and Present

Tailings: Past and Present

Alberta’s tailings ponds provoked international outcry in 2008 when images were released of ducks struggling to survive in the toxic sludge. Today, the threat posed by the tailings ponds is even greater as they continue to grow in size and number. 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 treated and released into the Athabasca River. We came together to protect the headwaters from pollution through the Alberta Beyond Coal campaign. Now, it is time to learn about and take action to protect our northern waters.

Join the Edmonton Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Keepers of the Water for this three-part symposia featuring speakers with knowledge of tailings technology, history, ecology, Indigenous culture, and the lived experience of communities impacted by the tailings ponds. These sessions will take place in person at the University of Alberta Telus Centre and will be broadcast on Zoom.

October 5th: Tailings: Past and Present

Tailings: Past and Present, the first in a series of symposia, speakers give an overview of the history of tailings, where we are now, and the dangers posed by the proposed dumping of improperly treated tailings into the Athabasca River. Speakers include Paul Belanger, Science Advisor, Keepers of the Water; Mandy Olsgard, Senior Toxicologist and Risk Assessment Specialist; and Gillian Chow-Fraser, Boreal Program Manager, CPAWS Northern Alberta.

Related Webinars


Session one:

Recorded on October 5th, 2022.

Tailings: Past and Present

Learn more about the history of tailings, where we are now, and the dangers posed by the proposed dumping of improperly treated tailings into the Athabasca River.

Session two:

Recorded on October 26th, 2022

Indigenous Rights, Knowledge, and Tailings

Learn more about how Indigenous communities are currently dealing with the toxic legacy of the tar sands and how traditional ecological knowledge and legal frameworks like UNDRIP relate to this issue.

Session three:

Recorded on November 16th, 2022

Tailings and a Just Transition

Learn more about how addressing proposed tailings dumping is an opportunity to transition workers and communities towards a more just future for all of us as we ensure that polluters pay for the mess they have made.