For Immediate Release:
Department of Fisheries cares more about Husky Oil than pollution on North Saskatchewan River
Today On October 5th 2016, in Prince Albert Saskatchewan.
James Smith Cree Nation met with Husky Energy Officials and Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials to review the SCAT (Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Treatment) that took place last week on the James Smith Cree Nation. James Smith is concerned that the oil covered debris logs and driftwood that are on 20 plus logjams and debris piles will be left on the First Nation river banks. Also that only the bare minimum is being done to remove tar covered logs and driftwood from its river banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Yesterday DFO and Husky official had a conference call to determine the course of action that should take place to remove the debris from James Smith Cree Nation lands. There was no consultation or involvement of the First Nation in this conference call nor was there any input towards this. This is the same approach as before as First Nation is being treated as a second-class citizens and that the "they know best attitude."
James Smith Cree Nation had requested that all debris that had possibly been in touch with the tar covered debris in the piles be removed, as the community fears further contamination. James Smith feels that the policy of only removing the non-oiled wood in its current position in the contaminated logjams and driftwood piles is comical and bureaucratic stupidity at its finest. Further questioning DFO logic James Smith Cree Nation had requested to build a small bridge over Pehonan creek however officials turned this down citing that this was a spawning source. This is troublesome as a large debris pile with tar covered wood is sitting at the mouth of the creek. If DFO is so concerned of the state of the North Saskatchewan River, then all the oil debris should be removed from the North Saskatchewan River in order to protect the endangered Lake Sturgeon. James Smith states more environmental damage would be done in order to sort out the wood piles and place it to the sides and possibly contaminating a larger surface area on the river banks. Furthermore, the driftwood would further be washed down stream to the Francois-Finlay Hydro dam approximately 70 Km downstream situated at Nipawin and contaminate the water reservoir to Melfort and the Codette Reservoir. This debris would then be removed by Hydro workers from the reservoir in order to prevent it from going through the dam hydro turbines. Chief Wally Burns states, " It's a shame that DFO Minister Dominque Leblanc is allowing the polluter to dictate what they should clean rather than letting an impartial 3rd party or their own officials make that choice". One Husky Official was noted saying on a telephone call that they were only removing this driftwood on James Smith Cree Nation and anywhere else they would just leave it.
For Immediate Release:
Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong Business Man, Your dog (Husky) needs to be fixed!
Husky Energy Inc. Oil Spill has created environmental disaster to First Nation Lands
(James Smith Cree Nations Territory, Treaty Six Lands, September 20, 2016)
Li Ka Shing, your dog, (Husky Energy Inc.), has pooped in the James Smith Cree Nations backyard. Shame on you!
Li Ka Shing, the majority owner of Husky Energy Inc. has some trouble in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. On July 20th 2016 a land based pipeline ruptured and spilled approximately 260,000 liters of oil and bitumen into the North Saskatchewan River. The spill was not noticed till approximately 14 hours later. Bitumen is a black, viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. One of the uses of bitumen is for road surfacing and roofing.
Husky officials assured that the oil spill would not travel no further than 30 km to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, an urban city of approximately 14,000 people. However, within 5 days, the oil had traveled approximately 500 km downstream, thus forcing three communities to turn off their sole source of a safe drinking water supply. Meanwhile, Husky officials ensured the residents of Saskatchewan that the spill would not go further.
On August 2nd the Vice President in charge of Aboriginal Relations for Husky Energy Inc. (Dave Lawrence) of Calgary Alberta, and James McCullough of Arkansas and Alain Parise attended a meeting hosted by the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations. The Chiefs in attendance at this meeting were upset at the whole process, and Husky officials were confrontational, extremely defensive, rude, and as a result, tempers rose. One husky official (James McCullough) stated that it was not an oil spill and that the only way to get the oil off their rocks at Maidstone was with a sand blaster.
Dave Lawrence Vice president of Aboriginal Relations told the elected First Nations leaders to submit a "baby proposal" in order to address the water monitoring and spill monitoring of the oil spill that leaked approximately 400 km downstream. To date Prince Albert Grand Council and the James Smith Cree Nation have submitted 3 proposals for cleanup and monitoring, which is to occur over the next few years. Each time Husky Energy has rejected the proposals from the First Nations communities along the North Saskatchewan River.
Husky Energy Inc. Officials have pledged that all costs would be covered and have pledged that the river would be returned to its original state prior to the spill. Husky Energy Inc. has paid the communities of North Battleford, Prince Albert, and Melfort for the loss of use of their water sources. The community of Prince Albert alone received in excess of $5 million dollars for water safety contingencies. The James Smith Cree Nation has received $25,000 for a Traditional Water Ceremony, a Sweat Lodge Ceremony, and a Community Cultural Event. However, the oil tar has reached well past the community of James Smith Cree Nation and has littered they river banks of the Sovereign Nation with tar covered wood and logs that washed up on the river banks on the First Nations Reserve.
The James smith Cree Nation has spent approximately $150,000 thousand dollars for a community that has no industry or revenue in order to begin cleanup efforts that is a result of this Husky Energy Inc. Oil Spill. The First Nation had to divert some funds that was available and was to be used to purchase a pump that could prevent flooding in the First Nation Community of James Smith. The amount of $17,000 dollars was used to begin cleanup efforts instead of using these funds for the pump. The First Nation prays that the spring thaw of 2017 will be a "gentle one" and that no flooding of the community will occur. and just last week Husky presented two cheques in the amount of $75,000 and 73,000 respectively 2 months later after the spill had occurred. But much more needs to be cleaned and no commitment from Husky to do so.
In an effort to offset the costs of this Husky Oil Spill Cleanup, the James Smith Cree Nation has created a funding instrument on the website of Indiegogo, which is used to raise funds for community and environmental initiatives. The Cree Nation of James Smith will use any and all funds raised to continue with the cleanup costs associated with Mr. Li Ka-Shing's company's Oil Spill of 2016.
The Community of the James Smith Cree Nation has been left holding the bag, which one can liken to a "pooper scooper" analogy, in which responsible people clean up after their dogs have "done their business" in a public park, for instance. We have been left holding the bag, and we have been left to clean up Mr. Li Ka-Shing's mess!
The James Smith Cree Nation, and other First Nations affected by this disastrous Oil Spill that will have a negative environmental impact on our lands and waters for decades, have not been afforded the decency or the common courtesy of being able to meet with Husky Energy Inc. official representatives. The urban communities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort have met with the Husky Energy Inc. CEO. or other top company executives to deal with matters directly affecting these communities, while First Nations have been forced to deal with minor officials who have no authority to make the big decisions. The First Nations People involved in this disaster have been treated as "second class citizens" in our own country!
Shame on you, Li Ka-Shing! Shame on you!
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