Alberta news briefs – May 23

Array

Oilsands wastewater leak kept secret for months: Opposition

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is downplaying a leak of nearly one-million litres of tainted water into the Athabasca River from a wastewater pond at a Suncor oilsands site near Fort McMurray.

The Liberal Opposition says the leak last year was the same volume as an Olympic swimming pool and involved water contaminated with oil and grease that left a sheen on the river.

Liberal environment shadow minister David Swann says downstream communities were not notified for up to eight months after the September leak.

“There needs to be a serious attempt to let everyone know what’s happened, and what action has been taken,” Swann said.

Questioned by Swann in the legislature, Environment Minister Rob Renner said the leak did not come from an oilsands tailings pond like the one that killed 500 ducks last month.

Premier Ed Stelmach told reporters that he would look in to the leak and how and when residents were notified.

“I don’t know when they were told, and that’s one of the things I want to find out for sure, were the people notified,” he said.

The leak happened when the pond’s water level fell low enough that grease or oil that had been sitting on the surface was pulled in, said Bellows.

Building, fire codes boosted

EDMONTON — Alberta is changing the way some homes are built to try to prevent another fire like the one that destroyed 88 homes in Edmonton last summer.

The province is announcing amendments to its building and fire codes today for houses built close together.

The Canadian Press has learned that slower-burning gypsum wallboard will now be required under vinyl siding in high-density neighbourhoods where homes are built 1.2 metres or less from the property line.

Edmonton fire Chief Randy Wolsey said a few months ago that manufactured wood products used under vinyl siding were burning much too quickly, putting public safety at risk.

Cancer board to revisit town

FORT CHIPEWYAN — The Alberta Cancer Board is taking a second tally of cancers in a small northern Alberta community downstream from the province’s booming oilsands region.

Many residents of Fort Chipewyan are convinced their proximity to oilsands development and major forestry mills in Fort McMurray have led to contamination of the water and wildlife in the region and a higher rate of cancer and other illnesses.

A study by epidemiologists at the Alberta Cancer Board released in 2006 found overall rates of cancer in the community were comparable to the provincial average.

Aboriginal treaty signed

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has signed an agreement to work more closely with aboriginal groups.

Premier Ed Stelmach met with the grand chiefs of Treaty 6, 7 and 8 for a ceremony.

Stelmach says strong, vibrant aboriginal communities are important to the province’s future.

Under the agreement, the chiefs will meet with the premier once a year to discuss concerns and will meet with other ministers regarding land and resource development twice a year. Treaty 7 Chief Charles Weaselhead says the chiefs look forward to working more closely with the province.

Just Posted

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Red Deer woman wins $1 million in lottery

A Red Deer woman spent $5 on a lottery ticket and became… Continue reading

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Home renovator Mike Holmes oversees reno for paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player

AIRDRIE, Alta. — One of Canada’s most recognizable home renovators has acted… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Flyers, Blackhawks, Sabres and Lightning to Europe in ‘19-20

Jakub Voracek was psyched at the mere suggestion the Philadelphia Flyers might… Continue reading

Danish receiver Nielsen looking to defy the odds again, this time at CFL combine

TORONTO — He’s coming to the CFL’s national combine as a definite… Continue reading

Mom with kids on YouTube channel suspected of child abuse

MARICOPA, Ariz. — A woman who operated a popular YouTube channel featuring… Continue reading

Most Read