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Canada needs to address water pollution from tailings ponds

By Melody Lepine      

True accountability means the Canadian and Alberta governments working together and on a nation-to-nation basis with Alberta First Nations to, in part, conduct a systematic risk assessment of oil sands tailings ponds and develop and implement an action plan to meet all of UNESCO’s recommendations.

The oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alta. The Hill Times file photo

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.—It was extremely disappointing to read the Government of Canada’s response, earlier this month, to accusations that it was sitting idly by while oil sands tailings ponds were leaking contaminants into rivers and lakes in northern Alberta. High concentrations of toxins have been detected in groundwater and surface water. But the government argued in its response that it could not prosecute oil companies under the Fisheries Act because it could not establish with certainty that the contamination was from tailings ponds and not from natural sources.

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Today’s Throne Speech steeped in British parliamentary tradition dating back to at least the 16th century

Feature|By Aidan Chamandy
Queen Elizabeth, on her first royal visit to Canada in 1957, delivered John Diefenbaker's first Throne Speech. In 1977, she delivered Pierre Trudeau's Throne Speech as well in Canada.

Rookie PSPC minister a ‘calculated risk’ as a cabinet pick, say observers

News|By Palak Mangat 10:31 AM ET
Canada's new procurement minister Anita Anand 'ticks a lot of the boxes,' says one political observer of the first Hindu to be appointed into cabinet on a federal level.

Liberals’ Anthony Rota elected Speaker of the House

News|By Aidan Chamandy 10:58 AM ET
MPs used a ranked-ballot voting system to elect the new House Speaker.

‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.
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