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First Nations say Alberta’s oilsands mine security reform unlikely to fix problems – National Post

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by ahnationtalk on January 26, 2023138 Views

Jan 26, 2023

EDMONTON — Alberta is preparing to change how it ensures oilsands companies are able to pay for the mammoth job of cleaning up their operations, but critics fear a year of consultations hasn’t been enough to avoid repeating past mistakes.

“There’s no signal to me from this government that they are going to hold industry accountable for clean-up costs,” said Melody Lepine of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, one of the Indigenous groups consulted.

Official estimates price that cleanup at $33 billion while internal estimates from the Alberta Energy Regulator put it closer to $130 billion. Even at the lower figure, industry has only put up about four per cent of the money required, a percentage that is shrinking as the liability grows.

After two highly critical reports from the province’s auditor general, Alberta’s United Conservative government began considering reforms to the Mine Financial Security Program in January 2022 through a series of meetings with industry and area First Nations.

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