Argument: Oil sand extraction contribute to cases of cancer

Issue Report: Oil sands


Ben Jervery. “The Moral Case Against Tar Sands.” OnEarth. February 19, 2009: “The impact on local communities, mostly First Nation tribes like the Cree, is nothing short of appalling. Visiting a Cree village and speaking to one of its Elders, Nikiforuk writes, ‘MacDonald doesn’t have much faith that industry or government will reclaim the toxic ponds that surround his home. About 90 percent of the water withdrawn from the Athabasca River for mining ends up behind massive tailings dams or dykes…All these ponds contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), naphthenic acids, heavy metals, salts, and bitumen.’ The tailings are leaking into the Athabasca too, poisoning the indiginous fish that locals have long relied on for food. […] In some heartbreaking interviews with Canadian tar sands activist MacDonald Stainsby, local residents reveal that cancer rates in their communities are up, wildlife is disappearing, and river levels are dropping constantly.”