The federal government needs to start to take more responsibility for slowing down the pace of the development and to deal with First Nation health issues, said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Layton, on tour in Edmonton yesterday, said that environment issues are the duty of the Harper government and one that he thinks is not being held as a high priority.

Citing a situation in Fort Chipewyan, Layton said First Nations people are allegedly experiencing higher amounts of cancer, and seeing massive numbers of dead fish from tainted water.


“The federal government has not lived up to their responsibility when it comes to the health and well being of First Nations [people],” he said.

Layton, an Ontario MP, said there he didn’t see any problem in telling the Albertans to slow down their economy to help the situation, citing a wide range of support for a slower development within the province.

“In Alberta … you’ll find lots of people concerned with the environment,” said Layton. “[There are] some very diverse voices.”

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