CALGARY – Shell Canada’s controversial Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan has received the go-ahead from Ottawa.
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says the 100,000 barrels-per-day expansion is “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” but that it is “justified by the circumstances.”
In her decision, Aglukkaq set out 88 conditions for Shell regarding the protection of wildlife and the health of nearby aboriginal communities, among other things.
Ottawa’s decision on Jackpine had been expected in early November, but was delayed by 35 days.
Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, was outraged that the federal decision came as the government was still supposed to be in talks with the band about how the project’s effects were to be mitigated.
Shell spokesman David Williams says the company is reviewing the conditions and must consult with the minority partners in the project before making a final decision to proceed.