Many people in Canada, including David Schindler, a respected environmental scientist at the University of Alberta, have for many years questioned the government sponsored environmental monitoring data of the oil sands as being inadequate. Last year, politicians and the general public in the United States began making critical remarks about “Canada’s dirty oil” threatening Canada’s reputation and possibly a portion of its export markets. This attention raised public concern to a new level resulting in both the federal and Alberta governments taking action. Several major initiatives, including work by the Royal Society of Canada, were started in the fall of 2010. These initiatives have now reached completion, and have presented governments with a wide array of analyses and recommendations for the management of the oil sands.

The Alberta Environmental Monitoring Panel (AEMP) was appointed by Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner in January 2011 to develop a world class environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting system for Alberta. The AEMP concluded that only an independent, science-based monitoring authority, at arms-length from government and industry, could establish the necessary credibility in gathering data, carrying out analyses and making recommendations regarding local and long-term environmental effects. The final report was completed on time and released to the public by the Minister on July 5, 2011. The speaker, who was co-chair of the Panel, will review the issues and speculate on how and when we might expect action.

Speaker: Dr. Howard Tennant

Howard Tennant and his wife, Sharon, reside in Lethbridge. He is a Professor of Management and President emeritus at University of Lethbridge, where he continues to teach.

Tennant’s current involvements include: Alberta Research & Innovation Authority; Audit Committee of National Research Council; Kainai Chieftainship of the Blood Indian Reserve (Past President); and on the board of several private sector companies. He formerly served as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, 18th Air Defence Regiment, RCA; Board Member, National Centre of Excellence - Canadian Water Network; The Advisory Board of Statistics Canada; and Chair of the Governing Council of the National Research Council and the Alberta Research Council. Tennant is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Management. In 2008 he was awarded the ASTech prize for outstanding leadership in science and technology. He has received two honorary degrees.

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