BC activists call for no new approvals after visit to Alberta tar sands

    EDMONTON, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A group of British Columbian activists
who have just completed a three-day "learning tour" of the Alberta tar sands
are calling for an end to new approvals for tar sands expansion at a press
conference today.
    "We have come to Alberta because we are concerned with Gordon Campbell's
proposal for an energy corridor carrying tar sands oil to West Coast ports,"
says Carleen Pickard, BC organizer for the Council of Canadians. Despite
having adopted California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the BC government is
backing this initiative to have tankers ply through fragile coastal
eco-systems to carry oil south to the United States and West to China."
    She was joined by BC based representatives from the Canadian Union of
Public Employees, Greenpeace, Check Your Head, the Stop TILMA Coalition and
accompanied by reporters from the Institute for Citizen Journalism, who
visited Fort McMurray to hear the firsthand experiences of communities living
around the tar sands.
    The groups are critical of the B.C. government. "Our premier Gordon
Campbell has said climate change is a top priority, yet he's encouraging
increased tar sands production and more greenhouse gases by his support for
the Enbridge pipeline and northern energy corridor. This is hypocritical. He
should be using his special relationship with Alberta to try to slow down tar
sands development, not encouraging more", says Blair Redlin of the Canadian
Union of Public Employees.
    Greenpeace organizer Mike Hudema, based out of Edmonton, also joined the
group. "With the lack of a federal plan to meaningfully address climate change
it becomes more important for provinces to take the lead in fighting global
warming and working to protect our environment. Ending new approvals on the
tar sands is the first step in addressing this social and environmental
    They are also calling on the Federal government to adopt a sustainable
Canadian energy strategy and resist pressures to increase production to
satisfy an expanding U.S. market.

For further information:

For further information: Carleen Pickard, (604) 340-2455, (780)
504-5601, cpickard@canadians.org

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