Audit at a Glance—Environmental Monitoring of Oil Sands
(Chapter 2—Fall 2014 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
Let’s turn now to our audit of oil sands monitoring, where the federal government is working with the province of Alberta to lay the groundwork for more comprehensive monitoring of the environmental effects of oil sands development.
Our audit examined Environment Canada’s performance under the Joint Canada–Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands. We found that overall, Environment Canada implemented the monitoring projects we examined on time and on budget.
Nonetheless, there remains work to be done. The monitoring information resulting from the projects that are looking at air, water and biodiversity needs to be better integrated to understand the long term environmental effects of oils sands development, including cumulative impacts. Environment Canada needs to do a better job of integrating traditional ecological knowledge and engaging First Nations, Metis, and other groups. Finally, stakeholders are looking to understand Environment Canada’s role in oil sands monitoring beyond March 2015.