Skip to main content

Alberta won’t appeal ruling it unfairly barred groups from a public hearing into oil sands project

Minister of Environment and Water Diana McQueen pictured at the Alberta Government House in Edmonton, October 12, 2011.

jason franson The Globe and Mail

The Alberta government will not appeal a judge's ruling that it unfairly barred environmental groups from an upcoming public hearing into a proposed oil sands project in the province's northeast.

Environment Minister Diana McQueen said the government will ensure that all concerns about projects are vetted on their own merits after Court of Queen's Bench Justice Richard Marceau last month chided officials for keeping the Pembina Institute and another green group from participating in a Southern Pacific Resource Corp. project hearing.

The judge had said in his decision that the process was "tainted" and biased against Pembina, citing an internal department briefing note that mentioned the group had previously "published negative media on the oil sands."

Story continues below advertisement

"It is important that all directly affected Albertans share their environmental concerns with us on industry projects," Ms. McQueen said in a statement. "Moving forward, we will continue to ensure that each and every potential statement of concern is reviewed on its own merits and decisions are made in accordance with the policies and legislation."

The Pembina Institute will resubmit its statement of concern and seek to participate in the proceedings, said Simon Dyer, the group's policy director.

"We're obviously disappointed that we have to reapply on the same grounds, the same impacts on recreational lands and concern about the local caribou herd," Mr. Dyer said. "We're somewhat disappointed that the government didn't just acknowledge their mistake and accept our application. There was no apology and no communication with us regarding their decision not to appeal."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter