Minister McKenna and Minister Phillips renew commitment to strong environmental monitoring and protection in Alberta’s oil sands

News Release

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, Shannon Phillips, sign a memorandum of understanding to renew Canada and Alberta’s commitment to ongoing monitoring of the cumulative environmental impacts of oil sands development.

December 21, 2017 Ottawa, Ontario

Collecting and sharing reliable information about the effects of development is the foundation of strong environmental protection. Today, the governments of Canada and Alberta renewed their commitment to continue providing clear and scientifically rigorous information on the environmental impacts of oil sands development in northeastern Alberta. This is one of the ways the Government of Canada is working with provinces to act on climate change, grow the economy, and create a cleaner environment for generations to come.

Today, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing their government’s shared responsibility to continue a single, coordinated, long-term environmental monitoring program in the region.

The memorandum of understanding calls for collaboration with representatives from local Indigenous communities, in the creation of such a program, paving the way for greater Indigenous involvement in monitoring priorities and decisions. As a result, there will be more scientific expertise and funding available to Indigenous communities to assist with community-based monitoring.

Robust and credible science provides objective information to help make evidence-based decisions that support the protection of our environment and ensure responsible development in Alberta’s oil sands. Research, data, and information generated by this program will be scientifically credible and publicly available to reassure Albertans, Canadians, and the world that this resource is being managed properly.


“I’m proud to continue working with Alberta to ensure that reliable, robust, and transparent environmental monitoring of oil sands development remains a priority. A strong economy depends on a healthy environment. Our government is committed to making sure that Canadian resources are developed responsibly and that environmental decision making is based on the best available science as well as on Indigenous and traditional knowledge.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Indigenous Peoples are vital partners in managing Alberta’s resource economy. This agreement demonstrates our government’s commitment to reconciliation by creating greater opportunities to use both scientific and traditional knowledge in decisions that affect our environment, our economy, and our communities. We know that protecting the environment and growing the economy are two sides of the same coin, and that this will improve responsible, sustainable progress on both while creating good jobs for Indigenous Peoples.”

– Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

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Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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