CALGARY—The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved a northern Alberta oilsands project over the objections of local Indigenous people who say it will encroach on sacred lands and poses a risk to their drinking water.
In an announcement on its website, the AER says the 10,000-barrel-per-day steam-driven Rigel oilsands project proposed by Prosper Petroleum Ltd. of Calgary is in the public interest.
Eddison Lee-Johnson, executive director of the Fort McKay Métis Community Association, says the community’s leaders will meet to discuss the decision and to formulate a response.
In hearings earlier this year, the Métis group and the Fort McKay First Nation told the three-member AER panel that they oppose the development because it would come as close as 1.5 kilometres to Moose Lake, a traditional and cultural centre for local people for centuries.
In its decision, the AER says it considered social and economic impacts and potential impacts on Indigenous and treaty rights.