Canada: "Emails Show Secrecy on Federal Oilsands Probe"

"Proposed answers from Environment Canada to questions about a 2013 oilsands leak triggered emails suggesting the ministry 'limit information' given to media."

"OTTAWA -- Environment Canada’s enforcement branch asked a spokesman to “limit information” given to reporters about how long it took to launch a federal investigation into a serious Alberta oilsands leak last summer.

The comments were included in more than 100 pages of emails obtained by the Star that were generated in response to questions from journalists last summer about the mysterious leak in Cold Lake, Alta., that now totals about 1.2 million litres of bitumen emulsion, a mixture of heavy oil and water.

The incident itself was not publicly disclosed until a report by the Star in July 2013. More than 100 animals died near the site of the spill, which continues to release heavy oil above the surface, one year later.

The company, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, had reported three other leaks in May and June 2013 from nearby sites using technology involving high-pressure steam in deep wells to pump out bitumen, the heavy oil mixed with sand beneath forests in northern Alberta."

Mike De Souza reports for the Toronto Star July, 29 2014.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014