Those against oil sands production have another study to add to their cause.
A report released this month claims wild animal food sources caught in northern Alberta have higher-than-normal levels of pollutants. The study makes a connection between contamination and oil sands production.
The study titled, Environmental and Human Health Implications of the Athabasca Oil Sands, was obtained by the Globe & Mail, in advance of its release.
It claims contaminants were found in traditional aboriginal foods such as moose and muskrat. While the contaminants were found, the research also came to two other conclusions. The aboriginal population in the region is moving away from a traditional diet, while also claiming to feel less healthy than in the past.
The executive summary of the research paper by University of Manitoba environmental science professor Stéphane McLachlan, claims the two First Nations communities (Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan) living downstream from the oil sands megaprojects want a greater say in the development of the region and the environmental regulations.
“Substantial employment opportunities are generated by the oil sands. Yet, this development, as well as upstream hydro projects, compromises the integrity of the environment and wildlife, which, in turn, adversely affects human health and well-being,” the research paper said.
Funding for the report was provided by the National First Nations Environmental Contaminants Program, Health Canada, and the two First Nation communities.