It was a unanimous decision. NAFTA’s North American Free Trade Agreement) environmental commission will not be looking into the oil sands tailings ponds. The decision came despite the fact staff with NAFTA’s Commission on Environmental Co-operation (CEC) recommended doing the opposite.
In a written ruling, the CEC stated the reason there will not be an investigation is because of a pending court case involving a Fort McMurray environmental investigator, who claimed chemicals from a Suncor tailings pond were flowing into the Athabasca River.
Dale Marshall with the group Environmental Defence isn’t convinced that’s the reason. “That case is over,” he told the Vancouver Observer. “They dismissed the case…and the appeal process ended last August, so it’s already done.”
Marshall adds, “The Commission has always been kind of weak. They can’t compel governments to do anything. They have no judicial authority, but they can shine a light on what’s happening and that’s a power they’ve had since inception. Even that’s now been eroded because of this.”
(Source: Vancouver Observer)