NAFTA Body Wants To Probe Enforcement of Canadian Oilsands Laws

"Environment Canada says the watchdog does not have the authority to investigate complaints made in 2010 alleging that tarsands’ tailings ponds are seeping into groundwater."

"Investigators from an environmental watchdog set up as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement want to investigate whether Canada is enforcing its laws on toxic leakage from giant oilsands tailings ponds.

Canada has already told the Commission on Environmental Cooperation that it doesn’t have that right. The disagreement sets up a second fight between the Harper government and the three-nation body intended to ensure free trade doesn’t degrade environmental enforcement.

“The (investigators) have acted contrary to their authority,” says a letter from Environment Canada to the commission. “The current submission should be terminated.”

The conflict stems from a complaint filed in 2010 by two environmental groups and three individuals."

Bob Weber reports for the Canadian Press August 7, 2014.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014