Marie Lake supporter pens open letter to premier regarding previous promise

Dear Premier Stelmach;

We were assured by Denis Ducharme that Marie Lake was a done deal so you can imagine how surprised we were to hear that the time in which Calgary-based OSUM has to appeal your decision has been extended not once but twice. From where we stand this is bending over backward to let OSUM make their case and win back the lease.

Please explain to me what is happening.

Marie Lake is back.

I was surprised to find in the article ‘Political hot potatoes piling up’ by Gordon Jaremko on Feb. 16, that the fight for Marie Lake has not ended. It took a summer long battle before the Premier would listen to the voters of Alberta. Or was he only placating the voters of Alberta before an election call?

Now the government has twice extended OSUM’s appeal date of the decision, the latest making the final date after the provincial election. So much for that bright shining moment for Premier Stelmach. Is his resolve weakening? Was it just a ploy or are there other complications he is not being open to the concerned citizens about?? One has to wonder. But if Gordon Jaremko or Premier Stelmach think that the residents that fought all summer will let this latest extension to OSUM’s appeal, go unnoticed and keep it out of the election they are wrong.

Premier Stelmach has a lot to juggle but the impingement of oil development on the provinces water resources will by far be the largest. Even after canceling OSUM plans under Marie Lake, we have heard nothing about Moore (Crane) or Frog lakes all scheduled for development. The honorable Minister Knight, approved two more lease sales to OSUM that go under Cold Lake, a water supply for the town of Cold Lake, and inter-provincial waters. Were the residents of Cold Lake consulted? No. So what have we achieved?

Is the premier brushing off the warnings pollution from oil sand developments? We hear of the health crisis in Fort Chipewan, by the Mikisew Cree and increasing cancer rates. If warnings of the increasing cancer rates don’t get the attention of the Premier and the PC party, we will all be living in a toxic soup in the years to come. There isn’t a more sensitive issue out there as barely a person in Alberta is not touched in some way by cancer (friend, coworker, family member). The support cancer fundraising gets is incredible. So if we can ignore this call by the Cree, then all pollution will go unchecked. We cannot let the pollution from oil sands developments be brushed under the rug. Correct the fallout from existing developments and then develop our future.

Living in a toxic soup is not a plan I have for my future, maybe the PCs want to, not me. Water is the life-blood of humans, and we cannot afford to pollute it. Vote with care.

Chris Goss

Edmonton, Alta.