Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two ducks walk into a tailings pond

One of them is worth $1,875,  and the other is worth a scathing criticism of our justice system.
Few people in  Alberta are unfamiliar with the case of Syncrude last year and this year; charges were pressed after 1,600 ducks landed in an open tailings pond and died there. This past week the company was ordered to pay $3 million to various organizations that support rehabilitation of the environment and wildlife.

The resulting soundbites were pithy:
"We've learned a lot and we made significant changes to our system and we're ready to move forward."
Syncrude representative Cheryl  Robb
"The company has taken responsibility, the laws have been enforced, and the penalty will hopefully prevent anything like this from ever happening again,"
Provincial Crown prosecutor Susan McRory

Yes, everyone's very contrite, humble, lesson-learned people; until today, when a flock of ducks landed on another tailings pond. 
It is not known whether any are dead, although apparently they are "heavily oiled", but this whole incident is a nightmare for Alberta, for the environment, for Syncrude, and most importantly for us, the people who are quite keen to live in a world with ducks,  please and thank you.
It's like a bad joke, and the punchline is a slap in the face.

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