Water

I don’t even know where to begin with this…

I’m not certain how wide the coverage globally is of the flooding here in Calgary, and Southern Alberta, although I just saw it on Sports Center so I assume you guys have heard. Still, its hitting home and authorities are warning it is not over yet, with more rain to come. Three people are confirmed dead in the High River community, with another still missing. Entire homes have been washed away in Canmore. Calgary has evacuated 25 neighbourhoods, displacing approximately 75,000 people. My former neighbourhood, Mission, (which I wanted to move back to) is underwater. The zoo animals are headed to the jail cells if the Bow River continues to rise. 17th Avenue, and Kensington, my favourite shopping spots are also flooded. Two weeks to Stampede opening day, the Saddeldome is full of water up to the luxury boxes, and the grounds are an ocean. It’s certainly the top story nationally, if you are reading from outside of Canada, check out links for the stories at NATIONAL POST, CTV, and CBC.

Calgary Police Car in flood

All the reports compare this to the flood of 2005, which I also experienced first hand, although in Rosebud, not Calgary. You can see that flood for yourself as well, in the CBC documentary that follows my mother and our family, Burning Water. This is the second time I have experienced a flash flood, and there is nothing like it; and this is NOTHING like the first time. The photos hardly do it justice, the murky water only shows the spread, not the depth. If you aren’t familiar with the landmarks you might not know quite how extensive it is. You might not realize how much has been effected. If you have been watching any news coverage you may have seen helicopter footage, its unbelievable, to view it click HERE.

This video gives a pretty good idea of how severe it really is. The flooding is widespread; shallow in some places but extremely deep and fast moving in others, and full of debris. Calgary at this point, is not nearly as hard-hit as Canmore and High River, where 3 are confirmed to be dead. Hundred’s of soldiers have been deployed as Southern Alberta is in a state of emergency. As much as I go on about my displeasure at living in Calgary, I do love the people here, at a time like this its really clear how strong of a community we have. Watching all these videos, seeing my running trail and an entire community under water is heartbreaking. Its fortunate that in Calgary we have no deaths and minimal injuries.

The overwhelming sentiment seems to be one of complete disbelief; no one imagined anything like this could happen here. My mom and I felt the same in 2005, when our farm in Rosebud flooded. I can’t explain to you the feeling when you are in the middle of the storm like that. I’ve always loved being in the middle of the storm, I love the rain, in 2005 when the flash flood hit our home, I was outside walking in the rain when instead of just pouring rain, suddenly, there was water everywhere. The footage in Burning Water (its only a few minutes in if you click HERE) shows flooding in my yard, was shot by me at the time and cut into the film later. When a flash flood comes, you really don’t realize how quickly it hits, and when it hits a city of a million people, the 4th largest in Canada, it’s devastating.

The footage is unbelievable, nothing like this has ever been seen here, and in times like this my inner environmentalist is begging for people to see the larger picture. More and more in the news all over the world we hear of natural disasters, each seemingly the “worst in history.”

In 1895, Nobel Prize winning Swedish chemist Svante August Arrhenius predicted that the excessive burning of fossil fuels would eventually alter the earth’s climate. In just 118 years, we have burned though an unbelievable amount of those fossil fuels, almost certainly faster than anyone, even Mr. Arrhenius, could have ever predicted.

Downtown Calgary was built on the money of the oil and gas boom, and is set between two rivers- the Bow and Elbow. “The Bow”, Encana’s landmark building- the tallest in Canada West of Toronto, just opened to the public a few weeks ago, and is now completely shutdown due to massive flooding. It almost seems biblical, though I do not consider myself a religious person. If there is one thing I do believe in, as I have posted before, it is the balance of nature.

Like I said, there is nothing like being in the middle of a storm, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself. The massive, awe inspiring power of nature. What forces does man have at his disposal when nature strikes? You realize then how powerless we really are. What does man expect from nature, that it will not strike back? That it will not find a way to create balance?

It is tremendously difficult for me to write this post because I do not want it to be misunderstood. I have compassion for every single individual affected here, for every individual affected in every tragedy around the world right now. I cannot imagine having my entire home swept away, its devastating.

At the same time, nature does not care for the whim’s of man. Man is a vile beast; a greedy creature with the tools to do more damage than any other animal on this planet, but mother nature will not accept mistreatment at the hands of her children.

When EnCana/Cenovus Corporation came to the the Rosebud valley with its experimental drilling techniques circa 2005, our water started lighting on fire out of the taps. The CBC passionate eye documentary, Burning Water, follows my mother’s fight with corporate Alberta, and the Alberta government for her water rights, after Encana used an experimental method of hydraulic fracturing in the Rosebud River Valley. In the midst of this political storm, 3 successive rainstorms flood Southern Alberta. In 2005 it wasn’t even CLOSE to this bad; in just 8 years, it is at least 3 times worse than the last “worst flood in history”. Just a few weeks ago EnCana opened the doors to “The Bow”, its premiere head office- they mention its construction in Burning Water.  Just a few weeks ago I was joking in a post that I would dance on its ruin and explaining that it is symbolic with all that is wrong with our culture.  I had no idea it would be evacuated and shutdown due to flooding, who would have? Who could possibly have ever imagined flooding so widespread, in the middle of the Alberta prairies?  After 118 years of relentlessly burning fossil fuels, and 8 years since our last water disaster, we have still learned nothing.

This isn’t a Calgary problem, its a global cultural problem. Our society is fatally flawed and if we carry on our current path we will destroy ourselves. As individuals we put ourselves first, because no one else will. In this age of luxury and technological advancement we are led down the rabbit hole of capitalistic greed. We get caught up in the nine-to-five, comparing our cars and our clothes and our houses and we forget that nature can take it all away in a heartbeat when it’s time to pay your debt.

It’s why I keep talking about the water issues, even though I know most people are content to justify their apathy. I understand entirely the temptation of pretty things, I battle with my materialistic, consumer side every day. I understand wanting to make some money to put yourself through school, or support your family. Temptation is always there but we must not gorge ourselves, lest our swollen bellies burst. Some of the most expensive real estate in the oil capital of Canada is now underwater.  Regular home insurance won’t cover it, millions of dollars of damage has been done. You might not realize it’s karma coming when she gets you, but it is. Everything will balance in the end.  This disaster has galvanized an already strong community and Calgary will rebuild, rebound and be reinvigorated.  Mayor Nenshi even says we can do it in time for Stampede!

Will Calgary really change? Not anytime soon. Sure it will rebuild and get back to business, but real change?   No.  It’s not just Calgary that needs to change, though certainly we have dug in our heels determinedly pushing for “economic value ” of the oil sands. Environmentalist friends (friend?) lets not delude ourselves. Prime Minister Harper “knows this is not what the rivers are supposed to look like” because he used to live here, and he took a helicopter tour so he could REALLY TELL. Premier Redford said something so dull I couldn’t even quote her, in the meantime her ex-husband represents the Defendants in Jessica Ernst’s million dollar lawsuit [Ernst v. EnCana, Energy Resource Conservation Board, Her Magistey the Queen in Right of Alberta] which has just been delayed again, because back in February Mr. Harper called the Justice hearing the matter up to a higher court. Quite convenient. Jessica goes back to phase ONE of her litigation- an application to rule whether an Albertan citizen even has the right to sue her government for failing to uphold its own regulatory standards when a corporations experimental CBM exploration destroyed the her Aquifer and contaminated drinking water in the vallye. Despite the fact she’s been dealing with this for a decade Encana hasn’t even so much as had to put forward their Statement of Defence, thanks to the legal gymnastics of a team of government lawyers. What did she expect suing the government and the corporation that pays the government’s salaries? I Nothing less, but that’s the point.  It seems an unattainable goal, to change the landscape of our intertwined government and corporate world, which is all the more reason why we must fight so hard.  I love it, Jessica is an absolute champion, she know’s what she’s up against here, the dynasty of conservative Alberta politics and the oil empire. The most important thing at this point is to spread awareness, add your voice on Alberta Voices and check out Jessica Ernst’s website.

For everyone who has suffered at the hands of nature; whether you have lost your home, your family, your friends, your pets or your life, know that the strength of an entire country is behind you.  For everyone standing on the edge of the storm waters, asking yourself, “how could this possibly have happened?”, do not forget that question when the flood waters recede.  This is a warning, a wake-up, a call to arms.  How could this possibly have happened?  In 118 years, just 18 years longer than the world famous Calgary Stampede has run, we have burned though more than half of the world’s oil reserves, the half that was easy to get to.  Now we use techniques more dangerous than ever before to extract oil, or natural gas, and the price we will pay if we continue to do so is honestly unimaginable.  How can we be so arrogant as to think what we do to one part of the earth will not have an effect elsewhere?

Take a rock.

Now smash it with a hammer.

Will the rock ever mend itself?

Will the cracks meld together and reform?

Of course not.

Once broken, the rock breaks down more.

It does not heal.

Imagine giving a company the power to drill hundreds of thousands of wells, to allow them to send seismic explosions though underground rock formations to release gas.  Imagine trucking in thousands of gallons of water to wash down the hole, mixed with trade-protected chemical “frac fluids”, to pump up a minuscule amount of natural gas in comparison.  Though I believe the only way forward is to end reliance on fossil fuels, I recognize that it will be a lengthy endeavor to get there.  It is absolute madness, however, to contaminate thousands of gallons of water and pump it into the ground, for only a minimal return.  The amount of gas wasted on tanker trucks bringing in the water to each CBM sight probably negates the “gain” even further.  Imagine a government that streamlines this process, so that companies never have to release the composition of those frac-fluids, and so the company can never be found guilty based on the lack of evidence.  Imagine a government giving the power to review cases like Jessica Ernst’s, or my family’s, to a SINGLE regulator with absolute power, appointed by whom? Harper? Redford?  Imagine for a moment that this goes too far, that companies like Encana are allowed to continue their assault on the water system.  Safeway was selling flats of water for $60 because of a weekend of flooding.  Imagine what will happen if our water supply is truly compromised?

Calgary pride’s itself on a sense of community and western spirit.  Coming home to the yyc airport compared to Amsterdam, I welcomed the sight of white hats and friendly faces eager to help.. because really, that’s what Calgary is all about, helping one another.  We see that now more than ever as the community bands together in this state of emergency, but we must take care to see the larger picture.  To live contextually and understand that we must actively plan for future generations, rather than blindly barrel forward with dollar signs in our eyes.

Money means nothing when the water comes and goes.

instaUPDATE – real life & Rosebud

back to reality and back in the office – miles of files, this is my lifestyle..

… and back home to my own bed, finally after so many weeks away!

this city, this city is haunted.. by ghosts from broken homes – alexisonfire boiled frogs lyrics

city and color “two coins” lyrics

don’t let anyone dull your sparkle – click image for the full post if you missed it!

pre-shower post-midnight selfie’s.. its how I roll #socool

these are a few of my favourite things; band tees, full skirts, converse, sunnies and the sound of music 🙂

36 crazy fists concert tee, monikee skirt (DK) CO-LAB cross body bag

out for lunch with the boss – found out I get to go on the company trip to Spain in November!!

brunch at The Ladybug and Cafe with my BFF & breakfast guru. She always shows me the best places!

waiting for my nails to dry with tea and snuggles in my favourite hoodie.

these two girls have my heart – misty & lina lookin all majestic like on the hillside.

now y’all know where I got my style, daddy rockin’ the fringe, the original hipster circa 1990

we planted trees for father’s day in my grandpa’s park. i come from a family of tree huggers – click photo for my mom’s blog

thinking over the weekend of another man I learned a lot from – missing this little pony, my BFF’s noble steed

This week was one of coming down.  Coming down and landing back in reality (how unpleasant).   Down from the cloud 9 of a European vacation – relaxing by the beach and stuffing my face with delicious Danish cuisine. while visiting family and shopping.  It was an amazing experience.  I really feel like the Europeans just have their ducks in a row when it comes to social programs and food… OMG the food you guys, go to Europe and just eat!!!  They believe in quality not quantity, that’s why they are famous for being slim and Americans are famous for being fat. I ate so many delicious things there!  Eat like a European – that’s my motto.  Mostly for one reason: seriously do you understand how much better their desserts and chocolates are?? I mean for reals.

 While we were in Denmark my grandfather took me to his childhood home and showed me oak trees he planted as a boy.  They tower up now, it was so beautiful to see how much they had grown – he told me there were three times more trees in Denmark now than there were when he left.  This fathers day we had an amazing family brunch with my dad  (the handsome fellow pictured above sporting the fringe jacket) and with his father who is basically a second father to me. (We call him Farfar, Danish for father’s father.)  He has been working on the land all his life, he was our farm every day of my life, and the changes over the years are unbelievable.  Looking at old photos of our farm, seeing him standing at 89 years old in his childhood home with the trees he planted towering over him- I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about how grateful I am for my family and how simple acts of ordinary people are what make all the difference in the world.

I think the history my family has given me such a strong sense of who I am and what I want.  When I spend time on the farm with my family, with my horses, with the animals and the trees and the wind in my hair; I feel free, I feel happy.  When I look around and see well sites dotting up like pockmarks on the once perfect prairie I am afraid; afraid of what is yet to come and that our collective greed will destroy all the earth has to give.  I apologize for being a bit behind schedule with my posts here, but sometimes I have to focus on the country-smile side of myself, you can find me in the meantime helping my somewhat technologically challenged mother with her blog. Click HERE or, add your voice to the conversation on ALBERTA VOICES.  I urge any Canadian citizens, or any concerned individual from any corner of the world to educate yourselves on the dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing .  We all talk about the weather every day, make jokes about how mundane our lives are.  Well, the weather lately has been so weird… its almost like there is some sort of global climate change happening. Perhaps from the massive amounts of fuel we have burned in the last 100 years?  Perhaps we need to pause more often, leave the concrete jungles where everyone is perfect and we never speak to strangers and go back to country roots, where we aren’t afraid to get dirty, do hard work, create a home and a FUTURE.  In the “now” generation we have very much lost sight of the “and then”.  We are failing to plan for  future, which is looking pretty bleak if we, collectively as humans, don’t turn things around a bit.  Stat.  The latest assault on the Rosebud River valley that I grew up in is some rich person’s idea of fun  “a European style country club with luxury condo’s and a paved race track” smack dab in the middle of  Absolutely No Where, Alberta. Also known as the the most damn important place in the world to me because I happened to be born in the center of it.  Read the Calgary Herald article HERE.

The most unforgivable lie we humans tell ourselves is that we, alone, will make no difference.

Alone, we can make all the difference in the world.  A single act can be everything to someone.   It takes ONE person with passion, one catalyst for change to happen.   Why are so many afraid to use their voice?  Afraid to be passionately involved in their convictions for fear of offending someone, somewhere.  As Eleanor Roosevelt put it – “Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized for it anyways.”   Its why things like the Steubenville Rape make me so sick to the core – because if ONE person at that party had pro-actively intervened, had stepped in and said, ” THIS IS WRONG AND YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I WILL MAKE YOU STOP.”  If just one person had had the courage to use that inner voice that must have been screaming at them, then that girl’s life could have been so different.  And those “poor boys” would never have had their “bright futures ruined” by this “misunderstanding” had someone acted (perhaps by knocking some sense into them). I’m so tired of victim blaming.  In other words, EVERYONE WINS WHEN SOMEONE ACTS FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.  Do we see where I am going with this?  You have a voice, use it for the truth, use it to ask critical questions, use it to stand up for what you know in your heart to be right.  Do not be silent.  Do not sell yourself short to think you make no difference, the only difference is between the choices you make every single day.

” there will come a time when you must choose between what is right and what is easy “

-j.k.rowling

It will not be easy, but it is our generation that must be the change.  I like to complain that I am back to reality because in some ways, I am terrified of the reality we live in.  Other days I think to myself, how lucky am I to have a steady job to complain about coming back to? Then I remember that luck had nothing to do with it, I worked my ass off to get it.  I am ecstatic to go to Amsterdam and then Barcelona in November, to see Europe again and have to come crashing back to reality in Calgary.  You make your own luck, you get what you give.  You plant a seed and one day it will grow into a forest but first you have to get your hands dirty and dig a hole for it, cover it in water and hope it grows to something beautiful.   Find your passion and let it grow.  Thanks for reading! xo, aiyana

follow on instagram @aiyanajanee

Take Action

I have some exciting news to share, these last few months have been crazy but I’m hoping things are finally starting to settle for me. In two months I moved twice, I started school, and today I interviewed and was accepted for an early practicum! I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and I really feel that all the bad things that happened to me were absolutely blessings in disguise! Getting lied to and then laid off, only to find out my boyfriend was cheating forced me to move out of the city to my parents farm, I was home so I could ride but then I broke my pelvis. Because of my injury I couldn’t start at SAIT in September as I had planned, so I had to find something else. I go to Robertson College Calgary and am enrolled in the Legal Administrative Assistant program. I had never heard of Robertson before I had to start searching for an option other than SAIT. I’m so happy I found it, I love the teachers, the small class sizes and the fact that my program is a year and a half shorter than the same program I was going to take at SAIT! Now I have a chance to start my career that much sooner, and I feel like a real life adult- 2013 is going to be amazing!

Since I moved I’ve been doing the literal MOUNTAIN of laundry I have, and the idea of doing a challenge came to me; WEAR EVERY ITEM IN MY CLOSET ONCE BEFORE I RE-WEAR. I have a RIDICULOUS amount of clothes, moving them is super annoying, and laundry is a terrible chore which I would love to abolish. So I’ll try to wear everything and post photos, and then do a mountain of laundry again at the end! I promise there will be lots of outfit posts to come!!!

In the meantime, allow me this digression from my usual vanity into the dirty world of government corruption, big business and the oil and gas industry.

This Friday, January 18th, 2013 in the Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, Judge B. L. Veldhuis will hear the defendants’ applications in Jessica Ernst’s multi-million dollar suit naming Encana, the Energy Resource Conservation Board and the Alberta Government as responsible for contaminating her water well and gross negligence, when dangerous man made chemicals, as well as massive amounts of naturally occuring methane, inundated her well in 2005.

I know Jessica because the same thing happened to my families water well, just a few miles down the Rosebud River valley. It was here that Encana knowingly conducted experimental methods of coal bed methane extraction using hydraulic fracturing into shallow coal seams, perforating the aquifer that the water wells we use for bathing, cooking and drinking draw from- and we have proof. My family is followed in the documentary Burning Water if you are interested in our story, while Jessica chose to pursue litigation. If you haven’t watched the film, or aren’t planning on it, I’ll spoil the ending for you. My families claims were dismissed out of hand, Encana and the ERCB were absolved of any responsibility and were given the go ahead to continue fracking with immunity. The corruption seen in the golden age of oil here in Alberta made it impossible for regulators to act in the best interest in the public.  Our case was closed, we moved away from the  farm which no longer had usable water and tried to move on. This is why its SO important to me that Jessica Ernst be heard fairly in court. The best way for us to be sure of that is to uphold our civil duty as Albertan’s and BE THERE TO BE HEARD. Governments and corporations should not be allowed to act with immunity because of the financial gains, and as citizens we must recognize that this is indeed the case with the long reigning conservative government here in Alberta and we MUST stand up before it is too late to act. There is already a bill set in motion trying to make the regulations even more streamlined for MORE coal bed methane development. Industry has the go ahead to frack, and Encana, headquartered right here in Calgary, Alberta, is found innocent of any negligence or wrong doing in our case but was found guilty and heavily fined in Colorado, USA, in a case bearing striking similarities to our own- for more also check out the documentary Gasland.

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. shall be found in violation of Rule 209. failure to prevent the contamination of fresh water by gas, Rule 301., failure to notify the Director when public health or safety is in jeopardy and failure to notify the Director of significant downhole problems or mechanical failure, Rule 317.i., failure to pump cement 200′ above the top of the shallowest producing horizon, Rule 324A., impacts to water quality, Rule 327., loss of well control and allowing an underground blowout of gas, and Rule 910.a., failure to meet ground water standards in Table 910-1.” Source

Though our complaint (keep in mind it was an official review, not a lawsuit) was officially closed with the government, Jessica filed a Statement of Claim first in Drumheller, Alberta, the court closest to the Plaintiffs home, and to the cause of action. The case was later moved to the Calgary Court of Queens Bench at the request and convenience of the defendants, Encana Corp. The original claim was amended and shortened at the request of Judge Veldhuis and revised to Fresh Statement of Claim, in it Mrs. Ernst is seeking damages in excess of $30,000,000.00 CAD for the gross negligence of government regulators as well as on the part of Encana Corp. On Friday the defendants applications will be heard and I am looking forward to seeing what the Judge and the defendants have to say. If you have any interest in the matter, or any interest in water safety regulations, come to the Court of Queens Bench Calgary tomorrow and show your support for Jessica Ernst, winner of the UN International Women of Courage Award, and stand up for your water rights!

It is critically important and failure to act could have devastating global consequences as fracking spreads all over the world. Instead of trying to come up with new ways to get the difficult to capture gas out, the focus instead must be on alternate fuel sources. Imagine the jobs that would be created if as a society, as a species, humans moved away from fossil fuels and used technology that is already available to make our existence work with what the earth has given us, rather than relentlessly taking until nothing is left. The excuse that the worlds economy would collapse if we move away from oil and gas is ridiculous and propagated in order to pursue their agenda  not in the best interest of the public, or even of society as a whole.

For more information about Jessica Ernst and the lawsuit visit her website. For more information about my families story search through the Eco-Activism category, or check here, here and here. See also the Burning Water tab at the very top of the page.

Have a wonderful weekend, and take some time to think about the future, xo, a

Responsibility for the Land

I posted back in November about how busy I was working with my mom, well this is  what we were up to! I would love it if you would take the time to check it out and learn a thing or two. My mother was invited as a speaker for a Conversation on Fracking at Augustana University in Camrose, Alberta.

“With an assembly of experts, landowners and industry representatives, our aim is to foster constructive dialogue that will enable Albertans to manage our resources wisely.”

Full list of Presenters and other presentations from November 2-3, 2012

The youtube video of Fiona’s presentation goes with a PowerPoint, available for download here. Alternately  for your convenience, I have included the slides in the correct order below the embeded video- important slides have noted the time they are referenced. You don’t get to see the fancy animation I put in, but it is a little simpler to click through while watching the presentation.

Be sure to check out Dr. Karlis Muehlenbachs who also spoke over the weekend and  is referenced in Fiona Lauridsen’s presentation. His expertise was crucial in helping unravel the questionable science of Dr. Alec Bylth from the Alberta Research Council, who’s report was the basis for Alberta Environment’s decision to absolve Encana of any responsibility for the contamination in our water well, as there was NO EVIDENCE OF GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION.

My mom also references Jessica Ernst in her presentation, its really because of Jessica that we were able to find out so much information about Hydraulic Fracturing and the dangers; she and my mother worked side by side for years to figure out what happened to the aquifer in Rosebud. Another affected neighbour, Mrs. Signer, who’s well is referenced in the presentation, reports and slides; moved away from the area, selling her B&B because she no longer had safe water.

Jessica Ernst is taking legal action a multi-million dollar lawsuit accuses EnCana, Alberta Environment and Energy Resources Conservation Board of negligence and unlawful activities. For her stand against fracking, Jessica was honored by the UN with the International Women of Courage Award in October of last year.

UNANIMA International Woman of Courage Award

NEW YORK, NY (October 1, 2011) UNANIMA International, UN Economic and Social Council accredited NGO working for international justice at the United Nations celebrates 10th Anniversary Saturday icts by presenting icts WOMAN OF COURAGE annual award to Jessica Ernst of Rosebud, Alberta , Internationally known for her efforts to hold companies accountable for environmental harm done by “fracking”.

Ernst, a 54 year old scientist with 30 years petroleum industry experience, is Suing the Alberta government, Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and EnCana for negligence and unlawful activities.

Nearly a decade ago EnCana, one of the world’s largest natural gas producteurs, Began a risky and experimental drilling program hydraulic fracturing That Applied intense coalbed methane for shallow THROUGHOUT central Alberta. Ms. Ernst’s statement of claim EnCana broke multiple lighters That provincial laws and règlements and contaminated shallow aquifer That a Supplied drinking water to the community with natural gas Rosebud and toxic industry-related chemicals. The claim methodically reports how Alberta’s two key groundwater regulators, Alberta Environment and the ERCB, “failed to follow the investigation and enforcement processes That They HAD, established and publicized.” Have The allegations yet to be proven in court.

Hydraulic fracturing uses “brute force” to blast open oil, gas and coal formations with highly pressurized chemical fluids or gases. It is the subject of serious government investigations THROUGHOUT North America. In 2002, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment HELD Linking Water Science to Policy Workshop. The workshop report Concluded That unconventional natural gas drilling Posed a real threat to groundwater quality and quantity, and que la nation needs “baseline hydrogeological investigations … to be ble to Recognize and track groundwater contaminants.” Not Until nine years later on September 21, 2011 the Canadian government did announce That It Would initiate two studies hydraulic fracturing to determined Whether is harming the environment.

International UNANIMA thing Ms. Ernst was emperor awardee this year as a share of international icts “Water = Life” campaign. “Access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms,” ​​stated the UNANIMA coordinator, Catherine Ferguson. “Our members have year Have Experienced fracking safe to Their enormous fresh water supply Wherever it is Carried out. We applaud Ms. Ernst’s bravery in standing up for her rights. “

The award and a lecture by Ms. Ernst will be Given at the 10th Anniversary reception for UNANIMA International in New York at the Church Center of the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, just across from the United Nations building on East 44th Street. The event begins at 11:00 am.

UNANIMA International 
211 East 43rd Street, Room 1207 
New York, NY 10017 
Tel :/ Fax 212-370-0075 (Office) 
http://www.unanima-international.org

As for my mom?

she pursued the matter by allowing documentary film makers to follow her on journey to uncover the truth, as told in Burning Water, featured on CBC’s The Passionate Eye. She has spoken in communities, Colleges and Universities in Southern Alberta and British Columbia. The farm featured in Burning Water was sold, but the Lauridsen family still live in the Rosebud valley, farming land just 9 miles East of the previous property. The complaint that Encana contaminated ground water was dismissed outright by the government and the community and has not been revisited. The matter for us, is closed.

The matter however is only just beginning to open up, and the truth of the matter is MORE people need to speak up when government refuses to reign in industry because of their own capitalistic motivations. At the end of the presentation my mom mentions that they are streamlining regulations to allow industry even LESS ACCOUNTABILITY. This is happening in Alberta right now!

Rachel Notley, the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona and a long-standing labour and environment advocate, spoke at the conference and urged Albertan’s to stand up and vote against the conservative government who continue to allow the Oil and Gas companies to drill unchecked and self-regulated.

The damage from fracking has ALREADY been done, there is no longer a question about it. The question remains, how are we going to fix the damage we have done, and how can we prevent such harm in the future?

The answer is simple, and yet, we are told economically impossible; end reliance on fossil fuels.

your interest in this matter is of the utmost importance, and i thank you. xo, aiyana.

Student Film

Check out this student video from the conference my mother and I attended this November at Augustana University for some behind the scenes!

I’ll post the presentation and her slideshow coming up soon!

xo, aiyana

UPDATE: ALBERTANS, PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ON PROPOSED BILL 2, STAND UP FOR YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS

First Shot In The War Against Bill 2: Alberta Surface Rights Group demands that the Alberta Government withdraw Bill 2 immediately from the legislative approval process Press Release by the Alberta Surface Rights Group, November 13, 2012, 1st in a series on Bill 2

Bill 2 Extinguishes Property Rights

The Government of Alberta has drafted offensive and invasive legislation through the introduction of Bill 2.  This legislation strips property owners and others of their right to object to any energy project that may adversely and directly affect them. Inappropriately named the “Responsible Energy Development Act”, it removes the legislation that has guided the ERCB and the former EUB for years.  It eliminates any and all references that it must act in the public interest and violates the social contract that has been in place since the 1930′s for responsible development.

The New Alberta Energy Regulator is given extreme dictatorial powers to make energy related decisions.

Here is a glimpse of this new act.

“Every decision of the Regulator is final and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court by application for judicial review”

“The Regulator, alone, may reconsider a decision made by it” and “no action may be brought against the regulator”!

Who will this new board be operating for the benefit of?   Will it be to act in the interest of private businesses at the expense of the citizens of this province?  Why then were all references to public interest removed from the act?

Accountability currently in place with our judicial system has been eliminated in a dictatorial fashion! There is no right to appeal to a court with a judge who is unbiased. 

Our modern free society is based on checks and balances.  This new legislation makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible for property owners and people concerned about development and it’s far reaching impacts to challenge it in our province once this legislation takes effect. Government can unilaterally dictate what it wants to do on private lands without any recourse to the long term effects and consequences. 

In light of Remembrance Day should we not be mindful of the scores who perished fighting for a choice and freedom?  We do not think they fought and died to have future generations succumb to authoritarian tyranny which benefits a select few rather than the “public interest”.

A public information meeting is forthcoming.  Stay posted for further press releases regarding Bill 2 from the Alberta Surface Rights Group.

More information at:  albertasurfacerights.com

Contact:  albertasurfacerights@gmail.com

 

Responsibility for the Land

The documentary “Responsibility for the Land” is the work of two Augustana students, Carmelle Mohr and Alison Bortolon, and is based on the 2012 conference. Enjoy! http://youtu.be/Pmy5Qskus9g

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