Groups Dare Investors to Drink Community Water
CALGARY, June 16 /CNW/ - Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
and the Mikisew Cree First Nation and environmental and social justice
advocates traveled to Calgary today to the Oil and Gas Investment Symposium
hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers with a message for
the hundreds of investors from the United States and around the world that
Canada's tar sands are a risky investment.
Community members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, located
downstream from Alberta's tar sands, continue to experience high rates of rare
cancers and auto-immune diseases they believe are linked to the development of
the tar sands.
"Investors need to know that our land, our lakes and our people are being
poisoned by tar sands development so they can decide, with full disclosure, if
they still want to put their money in a human rights and environmental
nightmare," said Lionel Lepine, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First
The environmental and social controversy over the tar sands is growing,
creating increasing risk to investment including:
- A recent lawsuit filed by the Beaver Lake First Nation and the
Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation.
- Alberta and federal climate policies that allow tar sands emissions to
continue to rise.
- The toxic tailings ponds, currently covering over 50 square
kilometers, and projected to grow to 220 square kilometers as
1.8 billion litres of new material is pumped into them each day.
The environmental groups and First Nations will be challenging investors
to drink water taken directly from Fort Chipewayan. ForestEthics, one of the
environmental groups attending the protest, is sending an information package
about the impacts of tar sands development on the climate, forests, water and
species to international investors.
"The tar sands have become Canada's ever expanding black hole and by the
end of this conference we're hoping investors see that the same hole will sink
their money," said Leah Henderson of ForestEthics.
For further information:
For further information: Lionel Lepine, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
-(780) 881-1940 (cell); George Poitras, Mikisew Cree First Nations - (780)
838-8226 (cell); Leah Henderson, ForestEthics - (647) 883-5983 (cell)