Norwegian Grandparents apologise to Canada for Norwegian oil sands project

A group of Norwegian grandparents has made a formal apology in a Canadian newspaper, as the Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil prepares to go on trial for misusing water sources in the controversial Alberta oil sands project. The company is accused of diverting water from rivers, lakes and streams in its hunt for oil in the remote region of Canada.

Grandparents Climate Action of Norway group has paid for a half-page advertisement in a local newspaper in Edmonton, where the court case is taking place. On behalf of the organisation’s 2,000 members, the notice said that they “deeply regret that Norway’s 67 percent state-owned company Statoil is part of this dirty and dangerous project.”

The message went on to say that the Grandparents “want Canadian citizens to know that the environmental movement in Norway is unanimous in its condemnation of the ongoing tar sands extraction in Alberta.”

Statoil’s activities have drawn criticism from environmentalists around the world and the local indigenous population in Alberta. A silent protest by various groups was held outside the court last Wednesday, where a preliminary hearing took place. Greenpeace Norway has also pledged to try to persuade shareholders to stop the project.

A second hearing is scheduled for 30th June to give interested parties time to work through the vast amount of documentation relating to the case. If found guilty of 19 counts of breaking local regulations, the company could be fined NOK 60 million (EUR 7.7 million).

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