Acid Rain Sullies Saskatchewan's Northern Lakes

Living in a city served (I use the term loosely) by a CanWest newspaper makes it tough to keep up with what is really going on. It seems to me that much of the news we see in the Leader Post is pulled from other papers like the Calgary Herald, the Ottawa Citizen or some other publication owned by the Aspers. The Regina paper gets by with a bare bones staff.

So I wasn't that surprised to see, what seemed to me to be an important Saskatchewan story in the Globe & Mail with no mention in the Leader Post.

Most people know that the Alberta Tar Sands are very close to the Saskatchewan border. So close that the unchecked development of the tar sands is polluting Saskatchewan's northern lakes and forests. The Canadian Press story by Bob Weber tells us that more than 150,000 tonnes of acid rain causing gases every year are produced by the tar sands projects on the Alberta side of the border. Seventy percent of those gases end up in Saskatchewan.

The province, it seems, has been monitoring rainfall in the La Loche area, east of Fort McMurray and their finding show that the average PH level is 4.93. That is about the same acidity as in a cup of black coffee.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is well known for being light on environmental policy and for having a bad case of Alberta envy, so perhaps we shouldn't expect that he would speak out about the issue. But, it seems ironic that none of this emerged during the Premiers conference held here in Regina last week.

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