Last month, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod talked about her reaction to a two-day tour of the oil sands around Fort McMurray, Alberta.
“My caucus colleagues and I toured the oil sands by air and also participated in a site visit. I had the opportunity to meet with locals and industry representatives and gain first-hand insight into how this industry operates.”
She was one of a group of MPs who accepted the invitation of Fort McMurray-Athabasca MP Brian Jean to visit the oil sands. They toured the Clearwater River and viewed the Syncrude, Suncor, Albian Sands and CNRL facilities by helicopter, McLeod explained.
“Overall, I was impressed with what I saw in terms of the footprint of the oil sands on the local environment. Even in areas that were directly affected by the bitumen extraction process, industry has made improvements in decreasing emissions and increasing the speed and effectiveness of the reclamation process.”
She noted Canada has the third largest oil reserve in the world, representing more $500 billion in income and thousands of jobs not only in Alberta, but also in British Columbia and throughout Canada through the spinoff benefits of the oil sands on our economy.
“Recent events have highlighted the need for industry to improve oversight of its oil transportation practices post-extraction. The safety of oil transport is hugely important for both environmental and economic reasons.
“Although alternative forms of energy can, and should, continue to be sought out and developed, oil remains a major energy source for the foreseeable future.”