Aerial view of Fort McKay, Alta., Monday 19 September 2011 First nation Alberta sued the province for development approvals, which, according to her, threatened the sacred land the government promised to protect. Fort McKay First nation filed lawsuit at Edmonton court late last week.
First nation Alberta sued the province for development approvals, which the group claims to threaten the sacred land the government promised to protect.
"We will not remain impassive and let the area be destroyed," said Jim Busher, chief of Fort McKay's First Nation.
Fort McKay, a municipality about 800 kilometers from Fort McMurray, is surrounded by open-air mini-oil from three countries. The closest is within four kilometers.
The members of the group have long considered the virgin area around the Moose lakes and Namur west of the community as their last refuge for traditional hunting, harvesting and harvesting. The case claims that there are so many developments in the region – from energy research to forestry to agriculture – that Moose Lake has left Fort McKay.
"Without preserving the Lowe Lake area, the claimants will no longer be able to exercise their contractual rights in a meaningful manner," the statement in the statement of objections, which contains allegations that have not yet been substantiated in court.
"(Lake Lucerne) is now the subject of an imminent threat of industrial activity that has been or will be approved by Alberta."
The provincial government did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The suspected threat is due to the approval given last June by the provincial energy regulator for the oilands project, which will be within two kilometers of Lake Moose. Plans of Prosper Petroleum, worth $ 440 million and 10,000 barrels per day, were vigorously opposed by Fort McKay at that time.
The green light came despite the provincial draft plan – a result of 15-year talks in several different governments – to give the area some protection.
This plan provided for a 10-kilometer zone around the Moose and Namur Lakes with Fort McKay land protection precautions. It would establish access control, environmental monitoring, and thresholds for the surrounding region.
The Alberta Energy Regulator said at that time that he had taken into account social and economic issues as well as the impact on contract rights.
The regulator, however, said he could not assess the effect of approval on the province's plan for the Lake District because this plan is still under discussion and not implemented.
The case requires the court to revoke industrial permits in the 10km zone. He also wants the court to ban Alberta from allowing more activity in the area unless Fort McKay disagrees.
"Alberta has failed … to protect the area of the Lowe Lake from the impact of industrial development," the statement said. "Alberta will continue unless he refrains from taking or approving industrial development in the Lowe Lake area."
Prosper Petroleum has said he is committed to dealing with the concerns of his neighbors.
The company would use steam injected into shallow horizontal wells to melt a heavy, sticky bitumen primer and allow it to drip into a parallel well before being pumped to the surface where it would be transported by truck to a buyer or pipeline.