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Minister admits he got nuke ad facts wrong

EDMONTON — Alberta Energy Minister Mel Knight has admitted he was wrong about an environmental group’s position on nuclear energy.

Knight told the legislature last week that the Sierra Club runs ads in Europe in favour of nuclear energy.

But the Sierra Club quickly issued a news release stating it doesn’t have a branch in Europe and the energy minister’s statements were wrong and slanderous.

Knight made the comment while facing some questions on whether the government will support a proposal to build several reactors in northern Alberta’s Peace River region.

The minister says he has since learned that the pro-nuclear ads were sponsored by an individual with no ties to the Sierra Club.

Knight has apologized to the group and acknowledged that although his error was unintentional, he should have been more careful in checking his facts.

Meanwhile, Sierra Club Canada is stepping up crticism of both the Alberta and fderal governments over protection of an endangered red buffalo.

The group says neither the provincial nor the federal governments are doing enough to protect the wood bison in northern Alberta from illegal hunting.

Executive director Stephen Hazell points out that the bison is listed as endangered in Alberta and as threatened under federal law.

The Sierra Club is especially concerned because aboriginals have discovered two kill sites in Caribou Mountain Wildland Provincial Park in the last few weeks.

It appears the animals were killed as trophies, as the heads and hides had been removed, but the meat was left to rot.

Members of the Little Red River Cree Nation who found the bison turned over evidence and gave statements to Alberta Parks officials.

But Hazell says it’s unclear whether there will be a formal investigation or whether charges will be laid.

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