Alta. cabinet ministers: Oilsands a 'Canadian jewel'
Approximately a dozen protesters gather on Parliament Hill to demonstrate against the Alberta oil sands in Ottawa, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful lawmakers in the United States, has come to Canada's capital to chat about the oilsands with premiers and federal officials. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
TORONTO - The oilsands were called a "Canadian jewel" by three Alberta cabinet ministers who are trying to scrub clean the "dirty oil" image of oilsands development.
The team of Environment Minister Rob Renner, Energy Minister Ron Liepert and Intergovernmental Relations Minister Iris Evans were in Toronto yesterday to tell Ontario businesses they can benefit from the oil industry.
The trio will spend several days in Central Canada spreading what it calls "Alberta's story."
Renner says there's an impression that the oilsands is the Wild West where nothing is regulated but nothing could be further from the truth.
The ministers say the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates the oilsands will create 307 (b) billion dollars in tax revenue across Canada over the next 25 years.
But opponents argue that "dirty oil" from oilsands projects negatively impacts the environment and economy.
Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence says oil exports have driven up the value of the Canadian dollar, hurting rather than helping Ontario manufacturers.
McEachern added that increased development means more toxic chemicals will appear in Alberta's waters.