Canadian Manufacturing

Environmentalists again barred from Alberta oilsands hearings

Oilsands Environmental Coalition denied chance to speak to plans of Southern Pacific Resource

EDMONTON—The Alberta government has again shut out environmental groups from hearings on a controversial oilsands proposal.

A similar decision last fall was later overturned by a judge.

But an Alberta Environment official has again ruled that the Oilsands Environmental Coalition doesn’t have the right to speak to the plans of Southern Pacific Resource Corp.

Coalition spokesperson Kevin Wilkinson says group members lease recreational property in the area, but that wasn’t deemed enough to grant them standing.

Nor was the fact that 45 members of the coalition live in nearby Fort McMurray, Alta.

The judge last fall found the decision to shut out the coalition may have been influenced by its skeptical stance on oilsands development.

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