Ottawa demands NAFTA body drop investigation into oilsands tailings
CALGARY - Ottawa wants the Commission for Environmental Co-operation to drop its investigation into whether laws are being properly enforced when it comes to oilsands pollution.
The CEC asked the federal government in December to respond to allegations that it has failed to enforce provisions in the Fisheries Act by allowing harmful substances to leak from tailings ponds into water sources downstream of mines in northeastern Alberta.
But the federal government said in January that process should proceed "no further" because a legal case dealing with the same issue was already underway in provincial court. In April, the CEC said it disagreed with Ottawa's stance and would press on with its analysis.
Last week, Environment Canada reiterated its view, but with stronger language, saying the process should be "terminated" because the CEC was acting "contrary to its authority," assistant deputy minister Dan McDougall wrote in a letter posted on the commission's website.