CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Downtown Calgary was all abuzz Wednesday as duelling protestors gathered to either support or oppose a proposed energy project meant to take place in Northern Alberta.
The Teck Frontier Mine is a more than $20 billion project meant to produce 260,000 barrels of oil every day.
Several groups showed their support or opposition, quoting environmental concerns or addressing the ongoing effort to balance the energy sector and the future health of the environment.
Andie Johnston with Canada Action supports the project and believes it strikes a balance between energy development and environmental protection.
“It’s (…) taking our work and the work in the energy sector and listening to all the groups and the different people and working towards finding technology and different actions and ways to innovate and advance our industry and find a solution.”
Johnston believes the two ideas can go hand-in-hand.
“Having a future in energy and a future in the environment are not mutually exclusive.”
Their opponents, however, house concerns over the amount of dangerous emissions that will come as a result of the project.
Also, indigenous activists oppose oil taken from the project being transported through their land.
Sarah Flynn with Extinction Rebellion Canada said that, while many indigenous groups may back the project, it doesn’t mean it has unanimous support.
“Within those indigenous groups, there is still dissent. As long colonial populations are putting pressure on indigenous territories for resource development, there will always be those divisions.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the project needs swift approval but opponents say it would pose a major obstacle to the federal government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
-With files from Tom Ross