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Alberta oilsands project wins regulator approval despite Indigenous objections

June 13, 2018 6:18 PM
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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.


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