How do we get rid of it? How does that happen?”, said Cote-St-Luc, citing environmental and climate changes that have led to a rise in the extraction of this oil from the tar sands.
The NDP says it plans to introduce legislation to remove all environmental and community review requirements for the oil sands projects.
“We will ensure that all projects go through the fullest possible review from both community and government,” said the NDP’s climate change critic, Catherine McKenna, before the party’s first leadership debate in Montreal.
“We will put the same kind of scrutiny and scrutiny that was required with all other investments.”
McKenna said the party’s new environmental policies will be based on evidence collected in the oil sands’ current environmental review process. She said those policies will include a cap on the amount of extraction of each project that can take place over a given time, as well as a process to deal with contamination after a well has been drilled.
The new leader of the New Democratic Party in the House of Commons, MP Nycole Turmel, defended the existing review policy as one of the few policies that can keep an eye on the environment.
She said it was essential under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the review process were overhauled so that projects could never be cancelled, including any projects that will involve transporting crude oil from the oil sands to existing shipping ports or ports in the United States.
“This review of a project, in and of itself, was supposed to be conducted after its construction was initiated,” she said.
“It was supposed to begin in 2006 and its outcome was supposed to have been announced by 2009. It was supposed to be done with a much more transparent process. So the Conservatives, with the approval of their own parliamentary committee, changed the way they did it.”
NDP says it will ensure that all projects go through the fullest possible review from both community and government. – Catherine McKenna
Conservative MP Paul Calandra, however, said the environmental review process should be improved, and that his party would improve it if they win next July’s federal election.
“I think you can improve your environmental process,” he said, pointing out environmental review in the energy sector has been significantly enhanced.
“But it’s always better to have an independent review.”
Calandra, who recently announced he’s seeking the party’s leadership, said he’s concerned by a number of issues.
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