Time to smell the bitumen; Alberta collected less than $1 over 13 years from $Billion profit-raping tarsands companies for clean-up. Obviously, gov’t and AER don’t plan to make industry clean up or seal their climate chaos causing leaking wells. Companies only care about money and $billions in subsidies from ordinary Canadians (struggling to feed their kids), lots of lies, secrets, toxic cover-ups, refusing to pay taxes, and propagandizing you and your kids.

I’ll never understand why anyone believes the shitty lies coming out of Alberta politicians (no matter what polka dot, PC, UCP led by extremist bible-thumping misogynistic racist hate-filled Taking Alberta Waaaaay Back into the Cave, or NDP), AER or Alberta Environment.

It’s clear to me that the oil and gas industry in Alberta is largely a Republican Klan from USA, with plans to leave the province (they poisoned and raped for decades) as soon as they retire. The Klan controls our politicians, courts and deregulating regulators.

And, they all lie. All. The. Time.

If Alberta is serious about energy project cleanup, let’s start with the oilTARsands by Phillip Meintzer and Aliénor Rougeot, Mar 08, 2024, Edmonton Journal

Alberta has announced incoming restrictions on renewable energy projects including a ban on development in prime agricultural areas, buffers around protected areas and “pristine viewscapes,” plus a requirement for developers to post mandatory security deposits for potential cleanup costs.

This announcement not only threatens the future of renewable energy in Alberta, it also highlights Alberta’s hypocritical approach to energy development, as these restrictions don’t apply to the more destructive oilTARsands industry, which already threatens to leave Albertans on the hook for billions in unpaid cleanup costs.

Reportedly, companies have posted less than $1Billion in security against their required clean up (security ain’t collected of course, until it’s too late to ensure there’s nothing to collect making AER just another rapist of Canadians and our land, water and air to enrich the rich via legal hogwash).

Like the security deposits now required from renewable energy developers, Alberta’s Mine Financial Security Program (MFSP) was created in 2011 to collect funds from oilTARsands operators to cover reclamation costs.

However, in a recent report from the University of Calgary, experts determined the program is “functionally equivalent to having no system at all.”

That’s because companies only have to pay a small deposit initially, as long as their estimated assets (including oil reserves) are at least worth three times their estimated liabilities. They are only required to put aside more when the ratio falls under that bar, meaning when companies are not doing well financially.Great drunken Ralph non-plan plan. Companies in rape & pillage Canada walk from their responsibilities soon as the profits slip, enabled by politicians, regulators, and our courts (or worse, some judges hang landowners with clean-up). This vulgar shit show is what Albertans gleefully vote for, decade after decade after decade, brains rotten with greed, sour gas, toxic industry chemicals, spin and destroyed public education. Instead of collecting cleanup funds when operators are profitable and can afford to, Alberta waits for things to get bad.

If the theory seems questionable, the practice is outright egregious. In 2020-21, when oil prices dropped dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that decline should have triggered companies to post security deposits based on the MFSP’s asset-to-liability formula. However, the government intervened to change the formula, without any public consultation, to avoid making operators provide security deposits as required.

Alberta’s program allows companies to enjoy their profits when times are good, by making sure they won’t have to pay a cent towards cleaning up their mess, while trusting the same companies won’t just dine and dash when times get tough.Nah, there’s zero trust involved; Alberta politicians, regulators and judges are all in on the profit-raping sans clean-up scam. Look around you!If Alberta doesn’t compel oilTARsands operators to pay sufficient security deposits up front for the entire cost of their reclamation liabilities, taxpayers could be left with the bill.Don’t waste our time with dreamy fantasies. No authority in Alberta or Canada has any intention of making industry clean up, and never did – not even Saint Lougheed. Industry controls our courts, politicians, regulators, and financial institutions and has since Day 1. Only and always, the citizenry will be forced to pay (another reason I chose not to have kids), while more and more families struggle to feed their kids, pay rent, and access health care (eagerly being destroyed by con politicos from coast to coast to coast, so as to give that money to the American rich). Our courts and authorities refuse to even hold companies accountable when they are caught breaking the law, blaming, lying about, denigrating and punishing the harmed, more often than not, instead. Polluter Pay? Nope, not in Alberta, or BC, or SK, or MB, etc.According to the government’s own internal cleanup estimates, that could amount to $27,000 for every Albertan.I am sure it will be much more than that, likely over $150,000 for every Albertan. Dark money and the repuglican rich plan on taking one hell of a lot more out of this god forsaken greed-scape of a poisoned province, with more and more communities and farms running out of water.

A majority of these costs are for the reclamation of toxic tailings “ponds” — huge open pits that store industrial wastewater produced during oilTARsands extraction. Tailings contain harmful levels of arsenic, benzene, mercury, and naphthenic acids. As of 2023, tailings ponds hold more than 1.4 trillion litres and cover more than 300 square kilometres.

There is currently no established or approved method in place for their reclamation. Even if there was a protocol to follow, Alberta lacks the necessary funds to cover the costs.Don’t worry, the plan has always been to cut open the banks of the toxic lakes, and let the poisons rip into the watershed. Problem solved, AER-Evangelical style. AER’s and Alberta politicos have just been busy “grooming” the citizenry to accept that plan, thus why it hasn’t started yet. No company in their right mind would start a tarsands project, if they knew they had to clean up after they raped out their $billions in profits.

Leaving tailings on the landscape would be detrimental to the entire ecosystem of the Peace-Athabasca Delta — one of the world’s largest inland freshwater deltas. Yes, and that’s the plan! Has always been so. Indigenous communities in the region already experience health issues, loss of cultural practices, and changes to traditional land uses due to industrial activities. This delta also supports nearly 300 species, including millions of migratory birds and the world’s largest free-roaming herd of wood bison.In my experience, too many Albertans, notably those in authority positions, don’t give a shit about anything except conning the people and bagging heaps of money to retire out of province, in a less ugly and less toxic place.

During the press conference announcing renewable restrictions, Premier Danielle Smith even acknowledged the province’s past errors intention to ensure which have led to the problem of unfunded oil and gas cleanup. Yet while the government seems keen on addressing the environmental impacts of keen? WTF! Why are these writers synergizing for and enabling propaganda by Smith? Nothing keen about it. UCP and Smith don’t give a shit about air, land, water, environment, public health or education, or the truth. LOOK AROUND YOU! Listen to the endless lies. Look to Smith/UCP/TBA’s actions. Smith is intentionally making things too difficult and thereby killing an emerging industry, what about those who have enjoyed over 50 years of profit at Alberta’s expense and have yet to pay their fair share towards cleanup?

Living raped as eagerly as Albertans do, it always stuns me how many people here think there’s anything fair about oil, gas, bitumen and coal. Capitalism is a means for the ultra rich, notably American, to steal as much as possible while profiting as much as possible, and abusing as many and as much as possible to profit even more.

Action is needed now. If Alberta continues to let oil companies off the hook for their cleanup, and those same companies eventually pack up and move onEncana, one of the worst criminals in the patch, already ran off to the USA, complete with escaping clean-up via name change and relocating head office out of Canada and intentionally dumping their frac’d shit on two bit players with insufficient assets of funds to clean up), what will be left for Albertans? A once pristine landscape covered in toxic wastewater and a massive bill.

But that is the plan! The evidence is in front of us and has been for decades. IF any authority in Alberta intended for industry to clean up after their profit-raping, they’d show it with appropriate money in the kitty, and by not letting companies run after sloughing off their sucked up polluted plays on tiny companies that can’t clean up. Bankruptcy laws wouldn’t be what they are. It’s like our politicians now over glorifyin’ Lyin’ Bags-o-Cash Brian (who is part of the reason so much of Canada is being turned into a hellscape by rich Americans in industry, all to serve the rich in the good old USA), and cleaning up dishonest judicial work with a glorifying documentary for lyin’ cruel genocide-enablin’ apparently racist Joy-Overflowin’ Zionist Rosalie Abella.

Phillip Meintzer is a conservation specialist with Alberta Wilderness Association.Synergy group?

Aliénor Rougeot is climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence Canada.Synergy group?


Steve O’reilly:

The Truth:

Mining the oilsands is cleaning it up… you leftists really are daft

Geoffrey Pounder to The Truth:

Absurd oilsands propaganda.

The vast majority of the bitumen deposit lies safely buried tens and hundreds of metres below the surface. Hence the need for mining and in situ extraction.

Mining operations release contaminants into the environment that would otherwise never have seen the light of day.

Industrial operations expose, extract, and release contaminants that would otherwise remain safely buried.

Oilsands mining exposes large deposits to the elements.

Extraction uses hot water, steam, and solvents to separate bitumen from sand. Making contaminants far more bio-available.


During oilsands processing, contaminants are released from toxic tailings ponds and upgrader stacks.

Pollutants from smokestacks settle on the ground (snow in wintertime). Run-off and wind transport contaminants from the watershed and from exposed deposits into waterways. ADDING to low natural background levels.

Low natural background contaminant levels are safe for humans and wildlife, which have flourished in the region for thousands of years.


Contaminants are found at higher levels around upgrader stacks.

More than a decade ago, Dr. David Schindler’s team found that the oilsands industry had so far tripled background levels of mercury and arsenic. They identified airborne contaminants from upgrader smokestacks and exposed mine deposits landing on snow and released to the river during spring run-off.

Schindler: “This amount of bitumen released in a pulse would be equivalent to a major oil spill, repeated annually.”

“Alberta’s oilsands pump out more pollutants than industry reports, scientists find” (CBC, 2024)

“Data collected by air finds levels of harmful pollutants can be more than 60 times higher than estimated

“Alberta’s oilsands operations produce far more potentially harmful air pollutants than are officially reported, with the daily output on par with those from gridlocked megacities like Los Angeles.

“The study measured concentrations of organic carbon emissions in the air by flying overhead and taking samples.

“The researchers from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Yale University found levels that were between 20 and 64 times higher than those reported by industry, depending on the oilsands facility.

“… the total output of these chemicals is roughly on par with what’s produced from all other human sources in the country…

“‘When we measured the organic carbon emissions from the oilsands — the total organic carbon — those emissions were substantially higher than what industry is reporting.’

“The findings build on previous research that has shown other types of pollutants, including greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, are also higher than the reported totals.

“‘Work over the last 15 years or so has continually shown that there’s more going into the air from the oilsands than is being officially recorded,’ said Jeffrey Brook, air quality expert and associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

“Brook, who has also conducted research on oilsands emissions, said the latest study shows ‘that there’s a whole class of air pollutants that are being released in large quantities that are largely, if not completely, being excluded from official reporting.'”

Ann Bouscal:

We know the premier isn’t concerned about keeping it clean– just eliminating every possible advantage that the renewable energy sector might have over oil and gas.

Refer also to:

TAR SANDS ARE NOT OILSANDS by John Baxter, published in the 1990’s in Gulf Islands Driftwood (Salt Spring Island newspaper)

In the late 1950’s I spent part of a very cold winter North of Fort McMurray supervising an exploratory drilling project to evaluate the reserves of ‘Bitumen’ under our company’s ‘Alberta Tar Sands Lease’.

Since then neither a review of the technical literature of the day, 1960’s statements by Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed, or indeed, of the reports of the explorers who first saw the smoking river banks of the Athabasca River ever used the word ‘oil’. The substance is ‘tar’.

It is no more oil than the cattle in Aberta feedlots are filet mignon. Come to think of it, a feedlot is a perfect microcosm of the tar sands extraction process and the resultant pollution. Both result in the depletion and pollution of water resources, production of high volumes of atmospheric altering gases and an irreversible toxic alteration of the biosphere.

John Baxter


Max Blumental: “The issue is Zionism….”

2024: Rebutting Rosalie Abella’s Shameful, Vibes-Based Israel Defence, Abella’s article castigating South Africa almost completely avoids any discussion of the relevant legal questions or facts of the case.

Yesterday, The Globe and Mail published an article by former Supreme Court justice Rosalie Abella arguing that South Africa’s application to institute proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide is “shameful.” Someone as well-accomplished as Abella should be ashamed to have her name on this article.

Naturally, you’ll wonder what I, a “journalist” to friends and a “blogger” (at best) to enemies, with no hint of a law degree in either case, am doing arguing on a point of law with a former jurist such as Abella. It’s a good question, but there’s a simple answer: Abella’s article almost completely avoids any discussion of the legal issues or facts at hand, and makes a vibes-based case instead — something I feel qualified to refute. 

I’ve quoted segments (making up the majority) of Abella’s article in bold below, and responded to each one.

“To me, this case represents an outrageous and cynical abuse of the principles underlying the international legal order that was set up after the Second World War.” 

South Africa’s 84-page document explains why the ICJ is the right body for its case. The application notes: 1) it and Israel are United Nations (est. 1945) members and parties to the Genocide Convention (est. 1948); 2) neither have expressed reservation to Article IX of the Genocide Convention, which calls for disputes on matters of genocide between parties to be brought to the ICJ; 3) any party to the Genocide Convention can bring forward a case against another party; 4) as a party to the Genocide Convention, it has an obligation to prevent genocide. 

South Africa has made the case that it’s following the rules of the bodies created after the Second World War that both it and Israel agreed to. Abella doesn’t dispute any of this legally. Instead, she implies that South Africa doesn’t have legitimate cause to bring forward this case because nine years ago it failed to arrest the leader of a different nation at the behest of a different court. In other words: irrelevant on a legal basis. 

“It is a legal absurdity to suggest that a country [Israel] that is defending itself from genocide [from Hamas] is thereby guilty of genocide.”

South Africa’s application makes a detailed case that Israel is in the process of committing genocide, relying on a variety of sources with a document that contains more than 570 footnotes. It also references many UN bodies and experts that, since mid-October onward, have at minimum expressed concern Israel is committing genocide: 30+ UN Special Rapporteurs; 28+ members of UN Working Groups; the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; the Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls.

Abella’s argument for her claim that Hamas is perpetrating genocide is that it has supposedly killed Jewish people “because they were Jews.” This is a false assertion on its own, given that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions oppose Israel because it is an occupying entity, not because the majority of its citizens are Jewish. Even if true, Abella offers no examples of any scholars, organizations or legal bodies who have concluded that Hamas’s actions on October 7 were genocidal — not just bad, illegal, or even war crimes, but genocidal.

And to go even further, even if that were true, Abella doesn’t cite the part of the Genocide Convention where it says it’s totally cool to commit a genocide if you think someone is trying to make you the victim of one. As South Africa’s application notes, “States parties to the Genocide Convention have ‘expressly confirmed their willingness to consider genocide as a crime under international law which they must prevent and punish independently of the context “of peace” or “of war” in which it takes place.’”

Of course, Abella’s assertion that what Israel is doing in Gaza is merely limited to “defending itself” is debunked in the bulk of South Africa’s report, which argues it has committed at least seven genocidal acts, including: killing Palestinians in large numbers; inflicting conditions of life on Palestinians intended to bring about their destruction as a group; expelling Palestinians from their homes and destroying their residential areas; depriving Palestinians of adequate food, water, medical care, shelter, hygiene, sanitation; destroying Palestinian society; preventing Palestinian births.

“We find ourselves in the perverse situation where a genocidal organization such as Hamas is able to escape legal scrutiny or sanction for committing genocidal acts, while the country that is the intended target of its genocidal intentions is being called upon by the International Court of Justice to defend itself from allegations of genocide.”

The idea that Hamas will escape legal scrutiny or sanction, or has done so in the past, is absurd. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is already investigating Hamas’s actions on October 7, and South Africa’s application mentions the ICC Prosecutor has stated hostage-taking “represents a grave breach to the Geneva Conventions.” Hamas, of course, has also been designated in its entirety as a terrorist organization by six countries (including Canada in 2002) and the whole European Union, meaning that it, as well as those suspected of supporting it abroad, face sanction and legal punishment — unlike the supporters of Israel’s genocidal violence.

I also suspect that any government on the planet would prefer to be in Israel’s situation (facing a legal challenge that may end up meaning little against you in practice even if successful) to that faced by Hamas (the destruction of the land you govern and the people you’re responsible for representing). Hamas has faced far worse consequences than Israel in every way, despite Israel objectively having caused more death and destruction, both now and in the entirety of the existence of Hamas. 

“This is an insult to what genocide means, an insult to the perception of the ability of international courts to retain their legitimacy and transcend global politics, and an insult to the memory of all of those on whose behalf the Genocide Convention was created.”

International bodies like the ICJ have been criticized for being undermined by, for example, U.S. dominance preventing it or its allies from facing the punishment that countries in the Global South do. For much of the world, the ICJ taking this application against Israel seriously would likely improve its perception and legitimacy, not undermine it. This is not relevant to the merits of the case, though, nor is Abella’s interpretation.

“History will judge Israel’s response to Hamas’s genocidal attack on Oct. 7 and determine whether the retaliatory measures it took to protect its security were conducted in accordance with the law. That is a legal question that will necessarily balance purpose, cause, effect and context. […] There will inevitably be accountability – if only the world showed the same obsessive interest in holding other countries to legal account.”

Why have a legal system if “history” can do a good enough job judging people, I guess? This is a bizarre statement from someone who has spent the majority of their life in the legal field, including at the highest possible level in Canada as a Supreme Court judge. The matter before the ICJ is a “legal question” that it is in a place to judge. There is no need to wait for “history.”

South Africa is asking the ICJ to rule that Israel must: stop any actions that breach its obligations under the Genocide Convention; ensure those responsible for these breaches are punished at a national or international level; collect and conserve evidence of the genocide; make reparations to Palestinians; and assure the court and world it won’t do it again. “History,” meanwhile, is not capable of making rulings that can be enforced at an international level in the way that the ICJ, theoretically, at least, can.

Abella’s implication that the real reason Israel is being brought before the ICJ is antisemitism is shameful, especially given that there’s a case against Russia currently at the ICJ on the same charges, but with the support, thus far, of more countries in the world.

“The unbearable tragedy of war lies in the deaths and suffering of innocent civilians, and there can be no doubt that the deaths and suffering of thousands of civilians in Gaza is an unbearable tragedy. That is why the international community developed a sophisticated set of legal instruments after the Second World War: to prevent, minimize, and sanction global conflicts.”

This is an argument for the ICJ hearing South Africa’s application, not against it. 

“Seventy-five years after the birth of the Genocide Convention and of the state of Israel, both of which rose from the ashes of Auschwitz, we find genocide and rape and torture in full and flagrant flight in too many parts of the world. Yet the country that finds itself as the designated avatar of genocide is Israel.”

Again, this is all irrelevant to the merits of the case. “Genocide and rape and torture” occurring outside of Gaza does not justify it within Gaza, and any of the state parties to the Genocide Convention (including Israel) are capable of bringing a case against another party if they believe they are guilty of such acts.

Israel is not the only country being accused of genocide before the ICJ, but, as South Africa’s request for provisional measures to be implemented notes, the brutality and ongoing nature of its actions demands the utmost urgency from international bodies.

It’s also worth noting that the West collectively has provided another alleged victim of genocide at the ICJ with billions of dollars in weapons and other ways to support itself. Gaza has had no such luck.

“As a lawyer, I find it shameful; as a Jew, I find it heartbreaking; and as the child of Holocaust survivors, I find it unconscionable.” 

An esteemed legal figure is setting aside the law for an article based on identity politics, as if her status as a Jewish person or a child of Holocaust survivors is relevant to the merits of the case.

What Abella’s article shows, and what has become so apparent given the support for the genocide in large segments of Israeli society and parts of Jewish communities abroad, is that being the descendants of genocide survivors unfortunately does not guarantee you’ll be opposed to future ones. “Never again,” to a disturbing number of people, seems to mean, “Never again, to us.”

I look forward to seeing South Africa’s application debated on its legal merits.

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