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Wildrose Alliance sees an end to oilsands tailings ponds

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party believes industry can reduce or eliminate oilsands tailings ponds, and it promises to speed up environmental applications.

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party believes industry can reduce or eliminate oilsands tailings ponds, and it promises to speed up environmental applications.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith released the party's environmental policy in Fort McMurray on Thursday.

The platform, available on the party's website, promises a Wildrose government would implement a strategy to substantially accelerate the reduction and reclamation of new and existing tailings ponds sites.

Smith says on the website that she believes "we can do away with tailings ponds."

The party also calls for a one-window application process for all provincial environmental approvals.

Smith says on the website that it takes only two months to get approval for projects in Saskatchewan, while similar projects take two years in Alberta.

"We must accept the reality of environmental impacts," Smith says on the site.

"Every new project is going to disturb the natural environment. They key is to begin each project with an understanding that the development is a temporary use of land, and have a clear strategy for how to return the land to its natural state as quickly as possible."

The party's environmental platform also promises to cancel the Progressive Conservative government's $2 billion carbon capture and storage initiative, which it describes as wasteful, and instead focus funding on improving and expanding mass transit and commuter rail.

Wildrose further promises it would establish an environment ombudsman to promote better communication between the public and the provincial government, and would repeal Bill 50, which exempts power lines from undergoing needs assessment hearings.

 
 
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