Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The submission SEM-10-002 (Alberta Tailings Ponds), alleges that tailings ponds resulting from the extraction of bitumen from mined oil sands deposits in northern Alberta, “contain a large variety of substances that are deleterious to fish,” and that “these substances migrate to groundwaters and the surrounding soil and surface waters.” The Submitters further allege that their own report shows tailings ponds currently leak four billion liters (1 billion gallons) each year. The Submitters assert, among other things, that Canada is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law through “abdication of its responsibility to monitor, investigate and enforce subsection 36(3) of the [Fisheries Act]” which prohibits such alleged leakage, and the “indirect deposition of deleterious substances” in “any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance may enter into such waters.”

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

Canada notified the Secretariat of the existence of a “pending judicial proceeding” that, according to Canada, required the Secretariat to proceed no further with the Submission.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Canadian Federal Fisheries Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-14, s. 36(3),(4),(5)

Submitter(s):

Environmental Defence Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council, John Rigney, Environmental Defence Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council, John Rigney, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, Don Deranger, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Daniel T'seleie, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Represented by: Environmental Defence Canada

Submission Timeline

April 13, 2010

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 14/04/2010

Annex - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 31/12/2008

Annex - Other document authored by Canada on 19/01/2009

Annex - Other document authored by Canada on 20/03/2009

Annex - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 25/03/2010

Other Documents - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 20/04/2010

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 13/04/2010

September 3, 2010

The Secretariat notified the submitter(s) that the submission did not meet all of the Article 14(1) criteria and the submitter(s) had 30 days to provide the Secretariat with a revised submission that conforms with Article 14(1).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) authored by Secretariat on 03/09/2010

October 1, 2010

The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 28/09/2010

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 05/10/2010

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 12/05/2004

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/12/2008

Other Documents - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 01/12/2008

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 05/02/2004

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/11/2007

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/02/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 15/03/2008

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/08/2005

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/06/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/10/2010

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 01/11/2005

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 21/09/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 02/07/2010

Other Documents - Other document authored by Canada on 26/05/1994

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 20/03/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 13/02/2004

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 27/01/2004

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 19/01/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 26/01/2009

Other Documents - Other document authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 28/03/2008

December 11, 2013

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 11/12/2013

January 31, 2014

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Canada on 31/01/2014

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 03/02/2014

Other Documents - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 03/02/2014

April 14, 2014

The Secretariat informed that the concerned Party’s response does not allow the Secretariat to conclude that the submission is the subject of a pending proceeding; therefore, the Secretariat is proceeding with its consideration whether the submission warrants the development of a factual record.

Notification - Other document authored by Secretariat on 14/04/2014

May 14, 2014

The Secretariat received comments from Canada.

Other Documents - Other document authored by Canada on 14/05/2014

July 29, 2014

The Secretariat informed Council that the Secretariat considers that the submission warrants development of a factual record.

Notification - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by Secretariat on 29/07/2014

January 27, 2015

The Council voted not to instruct the Secretariat to prepare a factual record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 27/01/2015

Other Documents - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 27/01/2015