Saturday, August 28, 2010

A "protected area" with a problem

No doubt you've heard about the big protected area that the federal Conservatives have established in the Arctic. That's all fine and dandy, but the devil is in the details as usual:

On Thursday, the fourth day of his week-long tour of the Arctic, the prime minister announced the government will establish the Tarium Niryu­tait Marine Protected Area, located at the mouth of the Mackenzie River in the Beaufort Sea. The Beaufort Sea region is home to one of the world’s largest summer populations of belugas, which go there to feed, socialize and raise their calves.

"Today we are ensuring these Arctic treasures are preserved for generations to come," Harper told reporters in the remote town of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.

However, regulatory documents released by the government in April show officials plan to set aside one per cent of the conservation area for oil and gas activities, such as exploratory drilling.

From the Free Press. I don't know about you, but it seems to me like this kind of defeats the purpose of a protected area.

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