NAFTA environmental body wants to probe oilsands tailings leaks
Commission on Environmental Co-operation doesn't have right to investigate issue, Canada has maintained
EDMONTON—Investigators from an environmental watchdog set up as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) want to investigate whether Canada is enforcing its laws adequately when it comes to the oilsands.
The Commission on Environmental Co-operation says Canada has failed to counter evidence that it’s turning a blind eye when it comes to toxic leakage from the industry’s massive tailings ponds.
Canada has maintained the commission doesn’t have the right to investigate the issue.
The move sets up a second fight between Canada and the commission, which was set up to ensure free trade doesn’t create downward pressure on environmental enforcement.
A deadline in set for Aug. 12 for Canada, Mexico and the United States to decide if it will investigate how Canada protects wild salmon stocks from disease.
Canada has already said it won’t take part in the vote.