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MEDIA RELEASE: Fort McMurray Métis Local 1935, Parks Canada & Brion Energy are newest stakeholders to join WBEA - June 18, 2013

Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) welcomed three new members to their table at the Association’s 15th Annual General Meeting on June 12th; the Fort McMurray Métis Local 1935, Parks Canada and Brion Energy.

WBEA’s membership voted unanimously to accept the new members, bringing the Associations membership to 34 member organizations who represent three levels of government, environmental non-government organizations, industry operators and Aboriginal groups.

Founded in 1987, Fort McMurray Métis Local 1935 is a registered not-for-profit member based organization whose mission is to pursue the advancement of the Métis people of Fort McMurray and Northeastern Alberta. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work at the WBEA table with our First Nation and Métis partners in Fort McKay, as well as with our industry and government colleagues, as we advance important environmental monitoring initiatives in the oil sands,” said General Manager Kyle Harrietha. “We believe that leading practice, peer reviewed, and transparent environmental monitoring developed using sound science and traditional knowledge is crucial to the protection of our constitutional rights.”

As the organization responsible for protecting and presenting nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, Parks Canada is a very important stakeholder in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). Rob Kent, Superintendent Wood Buffalo National Park, said, “Parks Canada recognizes the value in building upon the existing partnerships and synergies in environmental monitoring networks in the Wood Buffalo region. WBEA's efforts provide a strong complement to our Agency's mandate for ecological integrity monitoring and reporting in the Peace-Athabasca Delta of Wood Buffalo National Park. In turn, we are confident that our participation can benefit WBEA and its monitoring network.”

WBEA’s third new member, Brion Energy, is the operator for the McKay River Commercial Project and the Dover Commercial Project. Both facilities will use steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology to produce a combined 400,000 barrels of crude bitumen per day at full operation.

“Environmental stewardship is one of the cornerstones of Brion Energy. We are committed to compliance with our EPEA approval and collaboration with members of WBEA to continually improve and contribute to environmental monitoring within the region,” says Cindy Robinson, Senior Environmental Advisor with Brion Energy.

WBEA Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy, is pleased to have new members on board. “Each of our new members is an important stakeholder in the RMWB, and we welcome their perspectives and expertise at the WBEA table. The strength of our multi-stakeholder membership will be very important as we move forward and contribute to the implementation of the Joint Canada - Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM), and the new Alberta Environmental Monitoring Agency,” said Percy.

Backgrounder:

WBEA is made up of 34 member organizations –

Aboriginal Members
Fort McKay First Nation
Fort McKay Métis
Métis Local 1935

Environmental Organization Members
Fort McMurray Environmental Association
Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development

Government Members
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health and Wellness
Energy Resources Conservation Board
Environment Canada
Health Canada
Parks Canada
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Saskatchewan Environment

Industry Members
Athabasca Oil Corp.
Brion Energy
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
Cenovus Energy Inc.
Conoco Phillips Canada
Devon Canada
Finning Canada Ltd.
Hammerstone Corp.
Husky Energy Inc.
Imperial Oil
MEG Energy
Nexen Inc.
Shell Canada Ltd.
Statoil Canada Ltd.
Suncor Energy Inc.
Sunshine Oilsands Ltd.
Syncrude Canada Ltd.
Teck Resources Ltd.
Total E&P Canada Ltd.
Williams Energy