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tar sands

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January 8, 2008 Labour

Hard Times Sold in Vending Machines

Worker migration from Atlantic Canada to the tar sands

January 7, 2008 Features

Impacting Unimpaired

New agreements like the SPP and TILMA are aimed directly at unimpeded extraction in the tar sands

December 31, 2007 Features

What the Tar Sands Need

Processing requires massive inputs of water, energy, land, labour

November 25, 2007 Environment

Can Pew's Charity be Trusted?

US foundations give millions to Canadian environmental groups

November 24, 2007 Labour

Temporary Labour or Disposable Workers?

Foreign labourers are brought to the tar sands, but are easily sent home

November 23, 2007 Accounts

What in Tar Nation?

Life among the tar sands

November 20, 2007 Weblog:

McGill Daily on Tar Sands

The McGill Daily, a student paper in Montreal, has a pair of decent articles about the tar sands in their most recent edition.

November 14, 2007 Gender

For Many Women, Alberta's Boom a Bust

Rising housing costs, lack of alternatives lead to precarious situations

October 31, 2007 Arts

Sublime Tar Sands?

Edward Burtynsky's photography and Canada's extractive industries

October 30, 2007 Environment

Environmentalism in Alberta?

Activists say communities are beginning to stand up to tar sands

October 29, 2007 Environment

Smoking in the Greenhouse

Tar sands growth makes meeting Kyoto targets less likely

October 23, 2007 Opinion

We Speak for Ourselves

Indigenous peoples challenge the fossil fuel regime in Alberta

October 21, 2007 Accounts

Harper's Index

Stephen Harper introduces the tar sands issue

October 20, 2007 Environment

Passing Out in Upgrader Alley

In Alberta's "Industrial Heartland," massive developments rival those of the Athabasca tar sands region

October 19, 2007 Original Peoples

Gateway to Solidarity?

Pipelines and Indigenous communities in Northern BC

October 18, 2007 Ideas

Tar Sands and the American Automobile

Heavy crude largely heads south to fuel American cars

October 17, 2007 Accounts

Working Full-Time

The work camps of Fort McMurray

October 15, 2007 Original Peoples

Oil Versus Water

Toxic water poses threat to Alberta's Indigenous communities

September 24, 2007 Weblog:

High Canadian Dollary Linked to Tar Sands

The rise in value of the Canadian dollar "is an energy story," said Busch. With crude oil futures trading at more than $83 U.S., investment capital is pouring north to help extract oil from so-called tar sands, also known as oil sands, in the province of Alberta.

--Chicago Tribune

July 24, 2007 Weblog:

Toxic Alberta

VBS.tv has a surprisingly good documentary series about the tar sands, watchable online. It rings true with the experiences I had in Fort McMurray--in fact, it's uncanny how many of the exchanges with workers are almost identical... only we didn't have a camera running the whole time.

July 2, 2007 Weblog:

Effects of the Tar Sands: Interview with Celina Harpe

An interview with Celina Harpe, an elder in the Cree community of Fort Mackay, downstream from Suncor and Syncrude strip mines and tar sands extraction plants near Fort McMurray.

For those who prefer YouTube, there's a shorter version there.

June 27, 2007 Weblog:

Fort McMurray: Flyover

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Photos from an overflight of the tar sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

» view more photos in"Fort McMurray: Flyover"

June 15, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard

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Notes from the Tar Pits:
Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard
Macdonald Stainsby // June 15, 2007

The plane cleared the tarmac and into the air we went, with a warning that the flight was going to have to go a little bit to the east of the usual, as the forest fires were too heavy. But the plume of white obfuscation that rose more than all the others was Suncor’s, with 2nd through 6th place going to Syncrude, CNRL, Albian/Shell, Total and (off in the distance) Petro Canada. It was completely impossible to spot any difference between the forest fires and the plumes of death-toxins breaking up into the atmosphere.

The giant tailings lakes are a sight to behold. The one near Syncrude, as I discovered from our pilot, is among the largest human made dams in the entire world. Though, I’m getting “biggest” fatigue; Every time I learn a new angle on how this is operating, it’s about the “biggest”. As a gentleman who drove us out of Fort MacKay said the other day: “If it’s the biggest in the world, it’s here,” and he was making zero reference to anything in particular.

Along with the largest craters in the world, deep pits of black sided land, being munched away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and through every holiday are the highways being constructed. While people living downstream in Fort Chipewyan have unsafe running water in their homes and are a seasonal fly-in community, the roads to “projects” are as relentlessly constructed as the tar is pulled out of the earth. There are full private highways, and when it’s time to pull the tar from under the highway, they simply move it and build another one. Oil is still oil, after all (even when it is tar and synthetic/mock).

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Forts McMurray and Mackay: Tar Sands Stink

The entire day was slow-going and lazy. We had wandered around the town commenting surreptitiously on ‘Fort McMurray-isms’—that is, various opinions we’ve come to form in the last couple of days. For example, just before skipping town, we’d parked ourselves outside of Zellers, under a sign that read ‘No loitering, No Littering, No Spitting,’ and cooked ourselves some noodles on Macdonald’s camp stove. Most of the stores in that particular strip mall complex were closed, and Dru wondered aloud at how many cars there still were in the parking lot, which was close to full.

» continue reading "Forts McMurray and Mackay: Tar Sands Stink"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay

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Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay
Macdonald Stainsby
June 14, 2007

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Fort McMurray: Tar Sands from Space

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Courtesy of Google, some satellite images of the strip mining of tar sands near Fort McMurray. The large gray areas are tailing ponds.

Explore for yourself, starting here.

» view more photos in"Fort McMurray: Tar Sands from Space"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Fort McMurray: The Tar Sands

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Above:

1. Syncrude's bitumen processing plant is not accessible, though it is visible from the highway. Apparently, there are plans to move the highway so that the road past Syncrude will be a private road.

» continue reading "Fort McMurray: The Tar Sands"

» view more photos in"Fort McMurray: The Tar Sands"

February 28, 2007 Environment

Risky Business

Climate change “quick-fixes” are good for business, but may prove disastrous for the environment

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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