SK TARSANDS at La Loche - on & on & . . .

Oilsands Quest Enters Into Creditor Protection

Postby Oscar » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:16 pm

Oilsands Quest Enters Into Creditor Protection Following End of Negotiations on Wallace Creek Sale: Trading in BQI Suspended
NYSE Amex: BQI


[ http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/B ... le/2442025 ]

CALGARY, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," "OQI" or "the Company") has requested and obtained an Order from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA"). While under CCAA protection, the Company will continue with its day to day operations.

On November 28, 2011, the third party that had signed a Letter of Intent to purchase the Company's Wallace Creek asset notified Oilsands Quest that they could not meet the terms of that Letter of Intent. Negotiations on the proposed Wallace Creek sale have ended, and the Board of Directors of Oilsands Quest has therefore decided to seek CCAA protection after considering all available alternatives.
The Company has been hindered in recent months by market and financial challenges, details of which will soon be available on the website
[ www.ey.com/ca/oilsandsquest ]. CCAA protection stays creditors and others from enforcing rights against the Company and affords Oilsands Quest the opportunity to restructure its financial affairs. The Court has granted CCAA protection until December 21, 2011, to be further extended as required and approved by the Court.

"We made the difficult decision to seek creditor protection because we believe this step to be in the best interest of all our stakeholders," said Garth Wong, Oilsands Quest Chief Executive Officer. "We have been actively seeking options to manage our liquidity and to raise the capital we need to proceed with developing our assets. To protect those assets and find a solution that will enable them to be developed, we are seeking options to restructure our affairs up to and including the sale of the company."

While under CCAA protection, the Board of Directors maintains its usual role and management of the Company remains responsible for the day to day operations, under the supervision of a Court-appointed monitor, Ernst & Young Inc., who will be responsible for reviewing Oilsands Quest's ongoing operations, assisting with the development and filing of a Plan of Arrangement ("Plan") that is established by management, liaising with creditors and other stakeholders and reporting to the Court. The Board of Directors and management will be primarily responsible for determining whether a Plan for restructuring the Company's affairs is feasible.

Affected stakeholders will have an opportunity to vote on the Plan. Before the Plan is implemented it must be approved by the requisite number and value of affected stakeholders contemplated by law and approved by the Court.

CCAA protection enables the Company to continue with its day to day operations until the CCAA status changes. The implications of this process for Oilsands Quest shareholders will not be known until the end of the restructuring process. If the affected stakeholders do not approve a Plan in the manner contemplated by law, Oilsands Quest will likely be placed into receivership or bankruptcy. If by December 21, 2011, Oilsands Quest has not filed a Plan or obtained an extension of the CCAA protection, creditors and others will no longer be stayed from enforcing their rights. Oilsands Quest will issue a further press release on or before December 21, 2011 to provide an update.

The NYSE Amex ("NYSE") has halted trading in the common shares of the Company (symbol: BQI). The NYSE may proceed to delist the company for failure to meet the continued listing requirements of the NYSE as a result of the Company proceeding under the CCAA. BQI's common shares will remain suspended from trading until a delisting occurs, or until the NYSE permits the resumption of trading.

"We remain confident that our in situ oil sands assets will some day be developed into commercial facilities," Mr. Wong concluded. "Oil sands development is a long-term, capital-intensive business. The timing for our planned pilot project unfortunately coincided with a downturn in the capital markets that has impacted our ability to access capital or to identify strategic alternatives to enable us to proceed. We hope that through this process, we will be able to arrive at a satisfactory solution for all our stakeholders, including our shareholders."

About Oilsands Quest

Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery.

MORE:
[ http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/B ... le/2442025 ]
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Oilsands Quest gets protection

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:49 am

Oilsands Quest gets protection

http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article291675.ece

Calgary-based Oilsands Quest has received temporary court protection from creditors after a deal to sell some of its assets fell through.

Luke Johnson 29 November 2011 23:17 GMT

Oilsands Quest chief executive Garth Wong said the firm is assessing all of its options, which could include selling the company.

A day after negotiations on the sale of some of Oilsands Quest's assets in Wallace Creek to an unnamed third party collapsed, the company sought protection from the Alberta Court of Queen “after considering all available alternatives”, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Oilsands Quest said it “has been hindered in recent months by market and financial challenges” and that it would provide details “soon”.

The company will be protected from its creditors until 21 December. The cushion will give Oilsands Quest “the opportunity to restructure its financial affairs”, the company said.

“We made the difficult decision to seek creditor protection because we believe this step to be in the best interest of all our stakeholders,” Wong said.

“We have been actively seeking options to manage our liquidity and to raise the capital we need to proceed with developing our assets. To protect those assets and find a solution that will enable them to be developed, we are seeking options to restructure our affairs up to and including the sale of the company.”

Any plan Oilsands Quest develops must be approved by shareholders.

If the “affected stakeholders” do not approve the plan, Oilsands Quest will likely be placed into receivership or bankruptcy.

Oilsands Quest is trying to develop the first commercial oil sands project in Saskatchewan.

Published: 29 November 2011 23:17 GMT | Last updated: 29 November 2011 23:17 GMT
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Oilsands Quest Extends Creditor Protection; Reduces Size of

Postby Oscar » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:08 am

Oilsands Quest Extends Creditor Protection; Reduces Size of Board of Directors

http://www.oilsandsquest.com/pdf/CCAA_E ... _FINAL.pdf

CUSIP# 678046 10 3 NYSE Amex: BQI

CALGARY, Dec. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE: BQI) (Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," "OQI" or "the Company") has requested and obtained an extension of the Order from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA") until February 17, 2012, unless further extended as required and approved by the Court.

Under the terms of the initial order, Ernst and Young Inc. was named as the court-appointed monitor ("Monitor") under the CCAA. The Monitor will monitor the Company's property, business and financial affairs and report to the Court from time to time on the Company's financial and operational position and any other matters that may be relevant to the CCAA proceeding. In addition, the Monitor may advise the Company on the development of a comprehensive restructuring plan and, to the extent required, assist the Company with a restructuring.

While under CCAA protection, the Board of Directors maintains its usual role and management of the Company remains responsible for the day to day operations. The Board of Directors and management, with input from the Monitor, will be responsible for determining whether a given plan for restructuring the Company's affairs is feasible. Stakeholders whose rights would be affected by the plan will have an opportunity to vote on the plan. Before a plan is implemented it must be approved by the requisite number and value of affected stakeholders contemplated by law and approved by the Court.

The implications of the CCAA proceeding for Oilsands Quest shareholders will not be known until the end of the restructuring process. If the affected stakeholders do not approve a plan in the manner contemplated by law, Oilsands Quest will likely be placed into receivership, bankruptcy or liquidation. If by February 17, 2012, Oilsands Quest has not obtained a further extension of the initial order or filed a plan, creditors and others will no longer be stayed from enforcing their rights.

Effective December 20, 2011, Gordon Tallman and Pamela Wallin resigned from the Board of Directors. The Board is now composed of five members: independent directors Ronald Blakely (Chairman), Paul Ching and Brian MacNeill; OQI founder Christopher Hopkins; and T. Murray Wilson, who has announced that he will not be standing for re-election at the next Annual General Meeting.

Trading in the common shares of Oilsands Quest remains suspended while the NYSE Amex determines whether to resume trading or to delist the Company for failure to meet listing requirements. The Company does not currently know when the NYSE Amex will determine to resume trading, or seek to delist the Company.

About Oilsands Quest

Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery.

Forward-looking statements

This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements." All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that management expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are statements other than relating to historical fact and are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "potential", "prospective" and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions "may" "will" or "could" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, which include but are not limited to the ability to raise additional capital, risks associated with the Company's ability to implement its business plan, its ability to successfully submit a timely plan to its stakeholders and the court under the CCAA and to resolve its operational, legal and financial difficulties, the possible delisting of its securities from NYSE Amex, risks inherent in the oil sands industry, regulatory and economic risks, land tenure risks and those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 9, 2011. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

For further information:
Investor Relations
Email: ir@oilsandsquest.com
Investor Line: 1-877-718-8941
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Oilsands Quest Inc. Granted Extension of NYSE Amex Listing;

Postby Oscar » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:42 pm

Oilsands Quest Inc. Granted Extension of NYSE Amex Listing; Trading Halt Continues

[ http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Oils ... story.html ]

CALGARY, Jan. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," "OQI" or "the Company") has been granted an extension until February 17, 2012 to regain compliance with the listing standards of the NYSE Amex. Trading in the common shares of Oilsands Quest remains halted in the interim.

On September 12, 2011 Oilsands Quest received notice from the Staff of the NYSE Amex LLC (the "Exchange") that, based on their review of the Company's Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2011 and discussions and correspondence with management, the Company is not in compliance with certain of the Exchange's continued listing standards as set forth in Part 10 of the Exchange's Company Guide. Specifically, the Exchange noted that the Company is not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) of the Company Guide because the Company has sustained losses which are so substantial in relation to the Company's overall operations or its existing financial resources, or its financial condition has become so impaired that it appears questionable, in the opinion of the Exchange, as to whether the Company will be able to continue operations and/or meet its obligations as they mature.

The Company was afforded the opportunity to submit a plan of compliance to the Exchange and on December 12, 2011 presented its plan to the Exchange. On January 4, 2012 the Exchange notified the Company that it accepted the Company's plan of compliance and granted the Company an extension until February 17, 2012 to regain compliance with the continued listing standards. The Company will be subject to periodic review by Exchange Staff during the extension period. Failure to make progress consistent with the plan or to regain compliance with the continued listing standards by the end of the extension period could result in the Company being delisted from the NYSE Amex.

Trading in the common shares of Oilsands Quest remains halted while management works to implement the plan that it has submitted to the NYSE Amex. Depending on the outcome of this process, the Exchange will determine whether to resume trading or to delist the Company for failure to meet listing requirements.

About Oilsands Quest
Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licenses, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery. [ . . . ]
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Oilsands Quest Secures CDN$3.75 million Financing; Agrees..

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:01 am

Oilsands Quest Secures CDN$3.75 million Financing; Agrees to Sell Non-Core Eagles Nest Asset for CDN$4.4 million

[ http://www.oilsandsquest.com/ ]

CUSIP# 678046 10 3 NYSE Amex: BQI

CALGARY, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," or "the Company") has secured a commitment for debtor-in-possession ("DIP") financing of CDN$3.75 million (the "DIP Facility"), for the purposes of funding operating costs and other expenses while the Company proceeds with its previously-announced solicitation process while under creditor protection.

The DIP Facility is being provided by Century Services Inc. (the "DIP Lender") pursuant to the terms and conditions of a Commitment Letter dated February 1, 2012. The DIP Facility will be repayable on the earlier of one year following closing or the termination of the Order from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA"). The DIP Facility is subject to the completion of definitive agreements and Court approval, which the company expects to obtain by February 16, 2012, after which advances under the DIP Facility will be available to Oilsands Quest.

Oilsands Quest has also entered into a purchase and sale agreement with an unrelated third-party entity to sell its non-core Eagles Nest asset for CDN$4.4 million. The purchaser has agreed to pay deposits of CDN$300,000 by February 21, 2012 with closing anticipated on or before March 23, 2012. The asset sale is also conditional on Court approval and normal closing conditions and adjustments. There can therefore be no assurance that the sale will be concluded.

The Eagles Nest prospect covers 22,773 acres (9,216 hectares) located in the Athabasca oil sands region northwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The property is geographically distant from Oilsands Quest's other oil sands discoveries and largely unexplored. Resource estimates for the property are available on the Company's website.

TD Securities Inc. acted as financial advisor to Oilsands Quest on the sale of Eagles Nest and, as previously disclosed, continues to assist the Company with the ongoing solicitation process.

Oilsands Quest continues to operate under the protection of CCAA with the assistance of a Court-appointed monitor. The Company's common shares remain suspended from trading until either a delisting occurs or until the NYSE permits the resumption of trading.

About Oilsands Quest

Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery. It is leading the establishment of the province of Saskatchewan's emerging oil sands industry.

MORE:
[ http://www.oilsandsquest.com/ ]
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Oilsands Quest Receives Court Approval of Financing and CCAA

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:22 pm

Oilsands Quest Receives Court Approval of Financing and CCAA Extension; Receives New Higher Bid for Non-Core Eagles Nest Asset

[ http://www.oilsandsquest.com/pdf/Court_ ... EN_bid.pdf ]

NYSE Amex: BQI

CALGARY, Feb. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," or "the Company") has received Court approval of its previously-announced DIP financing and its request to extend creditor protection. Court approval of the announced sale of the Company's Eagles Nest asset has been delayed, because a second party has come forward with a substantially higher offer for the asset.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") approved Oilsands Quest's debtor-in-possession ("DIP") financing of CDN$3.75 million, to fund ongoing operating costs and other expenses while the Company is under creditor protection. Advances under the DIP facility are now available to the Company.

Oilsands Quest also requested and obtained an extension of the order providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA"), which was to expire February 17, 2012. Creditor protection under the CCAA will now expire May 18, 2012, unless further extended as required and approved by the Court.

Oilsands Quest previously stated that it would request Court approval for the sale of its Eagles Nest property to an unrelated third party for CDN$4.4 million. However, on February 15, 2012, the Company received an additional offer to purchase the Eagles Nest property from another third party. Under this new offer, the buyer would pay CDN$6 million for the asset, with a non-refundable deposit of CDN$400,000. In light of the late offer, the Court delayed its decision on the asset sale until February 22, 2012, to allow time for the new offer to be evaluated fully and for any additional prospective bidders to come forward.

Oilsands Quest continues to operate under the protection of CCAA with the assistance of a Court-appointed monitor. The Company's common shares remain suspended from trading until either a delisting occurs or until the NYSE permits the resumption of trading.

About Oilsands Quest . . . . .
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Oilsands Quest Receives Court Approval of $7 Million Sale of

Postby Oscar » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:38 am

Oilsands Quest Receives Court Approval of $7 Million Sale of Eagles Nest Asset

[ http://www.oilsandsquest.com/pdf/Court_ ... s_Nest.pdf ]

NYSE Amex: BQI CALGARY, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ -

Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest," or "the Company") has received approval from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") for the sale of the Company's non-core Eagles Nest asset to FAMA Capital Ltd. ("FAMA"), an unrelated third party, for CDN$7.0 million.

This approval follows a short Court-directed limited bidding process, resulting in a higher sale price than previously disclosed. The Company has signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement with FAMA and the transaction, subject to normal closing conditions, is expected to close on or before March 23, 2012. FAMA has also agreed to pay a deposit of CDN$400,000 by February 24, 2012.

Oilsands Quest continues to operate under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA") with the assistance of a Court-appointed monitor. The Company's common shares remain suspended from trading until either a delisting occurs or until the NYSE permits the resumption of trading.

About Oilsands Quest
Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery.
Forward-looking statements:
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements," including the expected date for closing the sale of the Eagles Nest asset. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that management expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. [ . . . .]
- - - - -

FAMA CAPITAL Ltd. website is under construction:

http://www.wix.com/sfassman/famacapital

With offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton
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Oilsands Quest Extends Strategic Solicitation Timeline; Reop

Postby Oscar » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:21 am

Oilsands Quest Extends Strategic Solicitation Timeline; Reopens Eagles Nest Sale Process; Receives Extension of NYSE Amex Listing

[ http://www.oilsandsquest.com/pdf/Asset_ ... nsions.pdf ]

NYSE Amex: BQI

CALGARY, March 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest" or "the Company") is continuing to work to restructure its affairs while under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA"), with the assistance of a Monitor appointed by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court"). With the approval and support of the Monitor, Oilsands Quest has extended the deadline for offers under its current Solicitation Process. As well, the Company is working to reopen the sale process for the non-core Eagles Nest asset, following a default on the agreed deposit by the purchaser. Finally, Oilsands Quest has been granted an extension until May 18, 2012 to regain compliance with the listing standards of the NYSE Amex.

Oilsands Quest is currently conducting a Court-approved process to solicit offers to acquire, restructure or recapitalize the Company (the "Solicitation Process"), assisted by its financial advisor, TD Securities Inc. Binding offers under this process were originally due in March 2012. Several confidentiality agreements have now been signed with interested parties. Given the interest in the data room and the time required for potential purchasers to conduct their due diligence, Oilsands Quest is extending the deadline for offers under the process to April 27, 2012.

In a development unrelated to the Solicitation Process, Oilsands Quest is working with the Monitor to reopen the sale process for its Eagles Nest asset. As previously announced, FAMA Capital Ltd. ("FAMA") had signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement, approved by the Court, to buy the asset for CDN$7.0 million, with a deposit of CDN$400,000 due February 24, 2012. However, FAMA did not make the deposit and the agreement was terminated. The details of the new sale process are still being finalized.

Further to previous disclosure, Oilsands Quest received notice on February 24, 2012 from the staff of the NYSE Amex LLC (the "Exchange") that the Company remains out of compliance with certain of the Exchange's continued listing standards as set forth in Part 10 of the Exchange's Company Guide. Specifically, the Exchange noted that the Company is not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) of the Company Guide because the Company has sustained losses which are so substantial in relation to the Company's overall operations or its existing financial resources, or its financial condition has become so impaired that it appears questionable, in the opinion of the Exchange, as to whether the Company will be able to continue operations and/or meet its obligations as they mature.

The Company was afforded the opportunity to submit a plan of compliance to the Exchange and on February 14, 2012 presented its most recent plan to the Exchange. In its letter of February 24, 2012, the Exchange notified Oilsands Quest that it accepted the Company's plan of compliance and granted the Company an extension until May 18, 2012 to regain compliance with the continued listing standards. The Company will be subject to periodic review by Exchange Staff during the extension period. Failure to make progress consistent with the plan or to regain compliance with the continued listing standards by the end of the extension period could result in the Company being delisted from the NYSE Amex.

Trading in the common shares of Oilsands Quest remains suspended while the NYSE Amex determines whether to resume trading or to delist the Company for failure to meet listing requirements.

About Oilsands Quest

Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing

MORE:

[ http://forum.stopthehogs.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=449 ]
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Oilsands Quest Closes Eagles Nest Asset Sale

Postby Oscar » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:13 am

Oilsands Quest Closes Eagles Nest Asset Sale, Signs DIP Financing Agreement and Receives Approval for Settlement of Derivative Lawsuit


http://www.oilsandsquest.com/pdf/ENsale ... losing.pdf

CALGARY, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - This document corrects and replaces the news release issued at 8:00 a.m. EST on March 27, 2012. The date of the settlement notice should have read March 19, 2012, rather than the previously reported May 19, 2012. The complete and corrected news release follows.

Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex: BQI) ("Oilsands Quest" or "the Company") closed the previously disclosed sale of the Company's non-core Eagles Nest asset to Cavalier Energy Inc., an unrelated third party, on March 23, 2012, for CDN$7.005 million.

On March 26, 2012, Oilsands Quest signed the definitive loan agreements for the previously announced debtor-in-possession financing in the amount of CDN$2.85 million (the "DIP Facility"). Funds from the DIP Facility are now available to the Company for the purposes of funding operating costs and other expenses while proceeding with the solicitation process.

The DIP Facility will terminate on the earlier of March 26, 2013 or the termination of the Order from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (the "Court") providing creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) ("CCAA").

On March 19, 2012, Oilsands Quest received notice that the United States District Court for the District of Colorado approved the settlement relating to the derivative lawsuit captioned Make a Difference Foundation, Inc. v. Hopkins, et al., No. 10-cv-00498 WYD-MJW (D. Colo.), which is substantially similar to the proposed settlement that was disclosed on November 9, 2011.

Oilsands Quest continues to operate under the protection of the CCAA with the assistance of a Court-appointed monitor. The Company's common shares remain halted from trading until either a delisting occurs or until the NYSE permits the resumption of trading.

About Oilsands Quest

Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan's first commercial oil sands discovery. [ . . . ]
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Lawsuit involving Oilsands Quest, Pamela Wallin settled for

Postby Oscar » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:54 am

Lawsuit involving Oilsands Quest, Pamela Wallin settled for $10.2M

[ http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013 ... _102m.html ]

As a director of Calgary-based Oilsands Quest, Senator Pamela Wallin was named in a securities fraud class-action lawsuit.

By: Bill Graveland The Canadian Press, Published on Mon Aug 26 2013

CALGARY—A U.S. court has approved a multimillion-dollar settlement in a securities fraud class-action lawsuit against a bankrupt energy exploration company for which embattled Sen. Pamela Wallin was a director.

Between June 2007 and December 2011, Wallin was a paid member of the board of Oilsands Quest Inc., a Calgary-based exploration company. As a director, the Saskatchewan senator was named in the lawsuit along with fellow board members, TD Securities and Calgary consulting firm McDaniel and Associates.

The lawsuit, filed by investors in United States District Court in New York in 2011, alleged that Oilsands Quest and its directors overstated the value of the company’s assets by $136 million.

“Through a series of false and misleading press releases, investor presentations and accounting manipulations, defendants fraudulently pumped up Oilsands Quest’s stock price by portraying Oilsands Quest as the largest owner of valuable rights to bitumen in Saskatchewan’s oilsands, creating a modern-day gold rush for what defendants knew to be largely worthless mining rights,” reads the original court document.

It goes on to say company officials knew that the vast majority of the land contained no bitumen and “defendants engaged in contrived exploration and testing activities to justify the retention of worthless mining rights in order to mislead investors about the value of the company’s properties.”

While most oilsands development is focused in the area around Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan has significant oilsands deposits. But the oil is considerably more difficult to extract because the deposits are capped by a glacial till rather than the shale typically found in Alberta.

Still, Oilsands Quest led a charge to develop on the eastern side of the boundary.

- - - SNIP - - -

During her time as a director, Wallin earned nearly $648,000 in cash and offered option awards, the court documents said. She resigned shortly after Oilsands Quest went into receivership.

She did not answer a request for comment submitted last week by The Canadian Press.

Wallin, who was appointed to the Senate in 2009, has also been on the board of Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., a wealth management firm with offices in Calgary and Toronto. She’s also served on the board for Porter Airlines. From 2007 to 2011 she was chancellor at the University of Guelph.

Her finances have been under a microscope for weeks.

The one-time journalist and former Conservative caucus member has been ordered to reimburse the Senate almost $140,000 for ineligible travel expense claims. The order followed an independent audit of her travel expenses.

A Senate committee alerted the RCMP to the results of the audit. The Mounties are already investigating living allowances claimed by senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous story wrongly said the settlement would give 3.6 cents on the dollar. It’s in fact 36 cents.
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Re: Oilsands Quest - Lawsuit - how the mighty have fallen!

Postby Oscar » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:01 pm

Dene block road in Saskatchewan to stop oil companies

[ http://www.canadians.org/blog/dene-bloc ... -companies ]

November 21, 2014 - 11:02am

A group of northern trappers is blocking a road near LaLoche, Saskatchewan to prevent oil companies access to exploration camps north of that point. LaLoche is located about 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon and about 100 kilometres east of Fort McMurray.

A media release notes, "The Dene people of Ducharme, who have made a living from the land for centuries, have found access to their trap lines blocked by security gates. ...Trappers are making a stand because for the past 6 ½ years, there has been a mad rush on mineral and oil exploration. ...The trappers are concerned that they are being ignored and driven off of their lands by oil and mineral companies, like Cenovus from Calgary, Alberta."

In November 2013, Sandra Cuffe wrote that Cenovus owns a 34,000-hectare tar sands permit containing the nearby Axe Lake project. It is believed Axe Lake could produce 30,000 barrels per day for 25 years or more. She adds, "Local trappers say ... they were never consulted about the Axe Lake project. A gate and fences around the project have cut off access to their trap lines." [ http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/tar- ... ewan/19535 ]

Metis Local 130 spokesperson Don Montgrand says, “We’ve had enough! The animals are disappearing. Even the minnows are dying in the lakes. All of the chemicals they are dumping and burning in our local landfills and what they are leaving in the bush and running into the lakes. Even the people are dying of cancer and some are pretty young. We buried six in the last few months when we used to see maybe one person die of cancer in a year."

He adds, "This has to be done. Our lakes, our rivers, our kids are suffering. This roadblock could be there for a long time." [
http://www.leaderpost.com/touch/story.html?id=10397121 ]

The Council of Canadians Saskatoon chapter has been helping to share information about this blockade.

This morning they issued a message saying, “We are in agreement with the northern trappers' concerns regarding the plausible environmental and health impact arising from the activities of oil and other mineral companies in northern Saskatchewan. We acknowledge the right of the Dene people to self-determination on their land and, in particular, the right of those who live closest to the land to determine what types of development do and do not occur on their land. We acknowledge nonviolent civil disobedience as a valid form of political action in a democratic society, and we are willing to mobilize in support of this or other subsequent blockades, particularly in the event that this or other blockades continue over an extended period of time.”

For more on this, please see the Facebook page Holding the line - Northern Trappers Alliance.

Further reading

Trappers plan blockade protest on major northern highway (Saskatoon Star-Phoenix article)

[ http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technolog ... story.html ]

Brent Patterson
Political Director for the Council of Canadians
[ http://www.canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]

- - - - -

NORTHERN TRAPPERS BLOCK OIL COMPANIES
[ http://westcoastnativenews.com/blockade ... companies/ ]

November 19, 2014

The Dene people of Ducharme, who have made a living from the land for centuries, have found access to their trap lines blocked by security gates. Life-long trapper, Don Montgrand, reported, “When I drove up to my trap line, a helicopter followed overhead of me, all the way. That’s 106 km.”
...

On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, a road block will be established 8 km north of LaLoche, Saskatchewan to prevent numerous oil companies road access to
exploration camps beyond that point.

Trappers are making a stand because for the past 6 ½ years, there has been a mad rush on mineral and oil exploration. This along with the province’s ‘let it burn’ forest fire policy in the region which has decimated wildlife and destroyed cabins has had a serious impact on their ability to make a living and thrive in a culturally sustainable way in their own home territory. “It is taking food off of our table”, says Bobby Montgrand.

Deals have been struck with the Mayor and Council of LaLoche (Ducharme is outside of the municipal boundaries of LaLoche) and Chief and Council of nearby Clearwater River Dene Nation but due to Confidentiality Agreements no information and no compensation is reaching the trappers who are being hit hard by this.

“We’ve had enough! The animals are disappearing. Even the minnows are dying in the lakes. All of the chemicals they are dumping and burning in our local landfills and what they are leaving in the bush and running into the lakes.

Even the people are dying of cancer and some are pretty young. We buried six in the last few months when we used to see maybe one person die of cancer in a year”, claims Don Montgrand.

The trappers are concerned that they are being ignored and driven off of their lands by oil and mineral companies, like Cenovus from Calgary, Alberta. “When these companies are done destroying our north there will be nothing for our children to live on”, stated Bobby Montgrand.

Contact: Don Montgrand (306) 822-3181 or Bobby Montgrand (306) 822-2704
Email: susnaghe@sasktel.net

= = = = = = =

Tar Sands, Saskatchewan: Extreme extraction plans rejected by local residents

[ http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/tar- ... ewan/19535 ]

by Sandra Cuffe November 5, 2013

LA LOCHE, SASKATCHEWAN—La Loche is almost the end of the road in northwestern Saskatchewan, 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon. Even the kids play in Dene here. It’s one of the things other northerners describe about the place: some 90 per cent of the 3,500 people in the town of La Loche and the neighbouring Clearwater River Dene Nation still speak their language.

Heading north through the boreal forest on a road that leads to the Cluff Lake uranium mine, which shut down a decade ago, the flat lands give way to rolling hills. Exploration work continues around the string of lakes, but these days uranium isn’t the only thing resource companies are looking for. A hundred kilometres north of La Loche, no-trespassing signs now surround the Axe Lake tar sands project.

If industry has its way, Saskatchewan’s tar sands deposits may not remain under the sandy forest floor for much longer. Axe Lake is under new ownership, and two new exploration permits have been sold off to the highest bidder.

At an informal gathering with other Denesuline activists, Daniel Montgrand sits by the fire at a campsite he built near his late father’s birthplace on the Clearwater River, between La Loche and Axe Lake. From here, the river winds its way to Fort McMurray, where it flows into the Athabasca. The small clearing amid the jack pines feels like a world away, but it’s not far to the tar sands in Alberta: as the raven flies, it’s less than 150 kilometres from Fort McMurray.

Montgrand, a La Loche resident, first heard of tar sands plans for Saskatchewan in 1998. Ten years later, in 2008, La Loche municipal leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Calgary-based Oilsands Quest Inc, the first owner of the Axe Lake tar sands concession. “There was no consultation held anywhere. They just went into one little office there and [signed the agreement]. They stole the land away,” Montgrand told The Dominion. “What’s happened in the north is they opened up a floodgate for the companies to come in and do whatever they want.”

Tar sands exploration in the area isn’t entirely new. Several wells were drilled in the 1970s, but the technologies to exploit the bitumen that lies 185 metres underground had not yet been developed. In June 2004, Texas company PowerMax Energy was issued an exploration permit for lands north of the Clearwater River covering 570,000 hectares—a concession the size of Prince Edward Island. Oilsands Quest acquired the permit from Petromax that same year.

After five years of work during which company contractors drilled more than 300 exploratory wells, Oilsands Quest embarked on formal application processes to build and operate multi-well pads for in situ production and a central processing facility. Their estimates pegged the resources at Axe Lake at 30,000 barrels per day for 25 years or more. Because of the depth of the deposit, extraction is complicated and costly. Following the 2008–2009 global market crisis, Oilsands Quest, a junior exploration company, couldn’t get the financing it needed to go ahead. The company filed for bankruptcy in Alberta in 2011, and in the US the following year.

Also in 2011, investors filed a securities fraud class-action lawsuit against Oilsands Quest and its directors, including Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin, alleging they intentionally overstated the value of bitumen resources. A $10.2 million settlement was reached in August 2013. By then, the project was already in the hands of a bigger player with deeper pockets, much less likely to face financing difficulties.

In October 2012, Calgary-based Cenovus Energy bought Oilsands Quest’s remaining assets—the 34,000-hectare oil sands permit in Saskatchewan containing the Axe Lake project, and the Raven Ridge and Wallace Creek leases in Alberta—for $10 million. The three blocks are adjacent to Cenovus’ Telephone Lake project in Alberta. According to the company, if Telephone Lake is approved, construction will begin in 2014.

Montgrand never did find out exactly what was contained in the agreement La Loche signed with industry. Even when he later became a town councillor, he was unable to obtain the document. “I keep telling them until today come out and tell the public,” he said, as the coffee percolated over the fire.

A stone’s throw away, multi-coloured ribbons flutter in the wind. They hang from a small wooden structure housing plaques dedicated to the memory of Montgrand’s parents. The memorial is the first of many, he said, to mark important places where the Denesuline have occupied the territory. To this day, people use the lands up to Axe Lake and far beyond, added Montgrand.

Local trappers say they have also been unsuccessful in finding out the deal’s content, and that they were never consulted about the Axe Lake project. A gate and fences around the project have cut off access to their traplines.

Some 200 kilometres to the south, tar sands exploration work is also underway.

Five oil sands special exploratory permits north of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range [ http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/no-home-range/18355 ] were on the auction block at Saskatchewan’s December 2012 sale of Crown petroleum, natural gas and oil sands rights. Two of the bids with a combined value of $1 million were accepted and exploration permits were granted for 200,000 hectares to Scott Land & Lease Ltd. The Calgary-based land services firm acquires surface rights, leases and permits on behalf of corporate clients in the extractive, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Neither the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) nor the two neighbouring communities, St. George’s Hill and Michel Village, were consulted or even notified about the new permits. “There was no consultation whatsoever,” BRDN Chief Lance Byhette told The Dominion. “Due to that fact, we decided to take the province to court regarding this because it’s in our traditional territory.”

On June 4, 2013, the BRDN began legal action against the Saskatchewan government, filing a judicial review application in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The failure to consult violates Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982, according to BRDN, since their members exercise Treaty rights within the areas covered by the oil sands special exploratory permits.

A hearing for the application has been set for November 12–13, 2013 in Saskatoon.

The lands permitted to Scott Land & Lease include hunting, trapping and plant harvesting grounds, as well as cabins, trails, traditional campsites and burial sites. The BRDN reserve is a mere 20 kilometres away. Local people don’t want to see the region turn into what they see in northern Alberta, said Byhette.

Neither does the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). For the past five years, the SES has been advocating for a halt to any provincial permits or approvals for tar sands activities until a strategic regional environmental assessment for northwestern Saskatchewan is carried out.

“The sort of usual process of environmental assessment just looks at one development and the particular impact that that one development would have on a number of features of the environment, but the strategic regional approach is a much more comprehensive planning tool that I think would enable us to make better long-term decisions,” SES research advisor Ann Coxworth told The Dominion. A comprehensive assessment would take the natural features, sociology, economics, culture and so forth into account as a region, she said. SES maintains that the impacts of tar sands extraction go far beyond the individual projects.

A 2009 report [ http://environmentalsociety.ca/wp-conte ... -Sands.pdf ] produced by the SES, the Pembina Institute and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society found acid rain is both a threat and a current reality in the region. One estimate calculates 65 to 70 per cent of the acid-producing sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from tar sands activity in Alberta is carried over into Saskatchewan by the wind.

Northern Saskatchewan has some of the most acid-sensitive soil in Canada, according to the 2009 report, citing forest soil research produced for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. “The terrain in northwestern Saskatchewan [is] very vulnerable to acid, just because of the nature of the geology. And so if there is an increase in acid rain, it could fairly quickly damage forests and lakes and fish. So I think it’s a really serious issue,” said Coxworth. New tar sands developments in Saskatchewan would likely compound the problem.

Studies or no studies, BRDN members say the impacts have already begun. “People do have concerns and the people that are always occupying the territory, they notice some different changes within the territory,” said Byhette. He went out onto the land with other BRDN members and elders to see some of the changes, including in the pines, for himself. Locals suspect acid rain from Alberta’s tar sands is largely to blame, he said.

With work at the Axe Lake project picking up again under new ownership and with the court challenge to the new exploration permits, the future of the tar sands in Saskatchewan remains uncertain. Byhette and others vow to protect their traditional territories. “We want to for sure maintain that for generations to come,” he said. “We don’t want to see that go. It won’t, is what it boils down to.”
- - -
Sandra Cuffe is a vagabond freelance journalist. She recently spent several months in northern Saskatchewan
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Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - Update Nov. 23, 2014

Postby Oscar » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:46 am

Dene block road in Saskatchewan to stop oil companies

[ http://www.canadians.org/blog/dene-bloc ... -companies ]

November 21, 2014 - 11:02am

A group of northern trappers is blocking a road near LaLoche, Saskatchewan to prevent oil companies access to exploration camps north of that point. LaLoche is located about 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon and about 100 kilometres east of Fort McMurray.

A media release notes, "The Dene people of Ducharme, who have made a living from the land for centuries, have found access to their trap lines blocked by security gates. ...Trappers are making a stand because for the past 6 ½ years, there has been a mad rush on mineral and oil exploration. ...The trappers are concerned that they are being ignored and driven off of their lands by oil and mineral companies, like Cenovus from Calgary, Alberta."

In November 2013, Sandra Cuffe wrote that Cenovus owns a 34,000-hectare tar sands permit containing the nearby Axe Lake project. It is believed Axe Lake could produce 30,000 barrels per day for 25 years or more. She adds, "Local trappers say ... they were never consulted about the Axe Lake project. A gate and fences around the project have cut off access to their trap lines." [ http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/tar- ... ewan/19535 ]

Metis Local 130 spokesperson Don Montgrand says, “We’ve had enough! The animals are disappearing. Even the minnows are dying in the lakes. All of the chemicals they are dumping and burning in our local landfills and what they are leaving in the bush and running into the lakes. Even the people are dying of cancer and some are pretty young. We buried six in the last few months when we used to see maybe one person die of cancer in a year."

He adds, "This has to be done. Our lakes, our rivers, our kids are suffering. This roadblock could be there for a long time." [
http://www.leaderpost.com/touch/story.html?id=10397121 ]

The Council of Canadians Saskatoon chapter has been helping to share information about this blockade.

This morning they issued a message saying, “We are in agreement with the northern trappers' concerns regarding the plausible environmental and health impact arising from the activities of oil and other mineral companies in northern Saskatchewan. We acknowledge the right of the Dene people to self-determination on their land and, in particular, the right of those who live closest to the land to determine what types of development do and do not occur on their land. We acknowledge nonviolent civil disobedience as a valid form of political action in a democratic society, and we are willing to mobilize in support of this or other subsequent blockades, particularly in the event that this or other blockades continue over an extended period of time.”

For more on this, please see the Facebook page Holding the line - Northern Trappers Alliance.
[ https://www.facebook.com/login.php?next ... 5183898%2F ]

Further reading

Trappers plan blockade protest on major northern highway (Saskatoon Star-Phoenix article)
[ http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technolog ... story.html ]

Brent Patterson
Political Director for the Council of Canadians
[ http://www.canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]

- - - - -

NORTHERN TRAPPERS BLOCK OIL COMPANIES

[ http://westcoastnativenews.com/blockade ... companies/ ]

November 19, 2014

The Dene people of Ducharme, who have made a living from the land for centuries, have found access to their trap lines blocked by security gates. Life-long trapper, Don Montgrand, reported, “When I drove up to my trap line, a helicopter followed overhead of me, all the way. That’s 106 km.”
...

On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, a road block will be established 8 km north of LaLoche, Saskatchewan to prevent numerous oil companies road access to
exploration camps beyond that point.

Trappers are making a stand because for the past 6 ½ years, there has been a mad rush on mineral and oil exploration. This along with the province’s ‘let it burn’ forest fire policy in the region which has decimated wildlife and destroyed cabins has had a serious impact on their ability to make a living and thrive in a culturally sustainable way in their own home territory. “It is taking food off of our table”, says Bobby Montgrand.

Deals have been struck with the Mayor and Council of LaLoche (Ducharme is outside of the municipal boundaries of LaLoche) and Chief and Council of nearby Clearwater River Dene Nation but due to Confidentiality Agreements no information and no compensation is reaching the trappers who are being hit hard by this.

“We’ve had enough! The animals are disappearing. Even the minnows are dying in the lakes. All of the chemicals they are dumping and burning in our local landfills and what they are leaving in the bush and running into the lakes.

Even the people are dying of cancer and some are pretty young. We buried six in the last few months when we used to see maybe one person die of cancer in a year”, claims Don Montgrand.

The trappers are concerned that they are being ignored and driven off of their lands by oil and mineral companies, like Cenovus from Calgary, Alberta. “When these companies are done destroying our north there will be nothing for our children to live on”, stated Bobby Montgrand.

Contact: Don Montgrand (306) 822-3181 or Bobby Montgrand (306) 822-2704
Email: susnaghe@sasktel.net

= = = = = = =

Tar Sands, Saskatchewan: Extreme extraction plans rejected by local residents

[ http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/tar- ... ewan/19535 ]

by Sandra Cuffe November 5, 2013

LA LOCHE, SASKATCHEWAN—La Loche is almost the end of the road in northwestern Saskatchewan, 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon. Even the kids play in Dene here. It’s one of the things other northerners describe about the place: some 90 per cent of the 3,500 people in the town of La Loche and the neighbouring Clearwater River Dene Nation still speak their language.

Heading north through the boreal forest on a road that leads to the Cluff Lake uranium mine, which shut down a decade ago, the flat lands give way to rolling hills. Exploration work continues around the string of lakes, but these days uranium isn’t the only thing resource companies are looking for. A hundred kilometres north of La Loche, no-trespassing signs now surround the Axe Lake tar sands project.

If industry has its way, Saskatchewan’s tar sands deposits may not remain under the sandy forest floor for much longer. Axe Lake is under new ownership, and two new exploration permits have been sold off to the highest bidder.

At an informal gathering with other Denesuline activists, Daniel Montgrand sits by the fire at a campsite he built near his late father’s birthplace on the Clearwater River, between La Loche and Axe Lake. From here, the river winds its way to Fort McMurray, where it flows into the Athabasca. The small clearing amid the jack pines feels like a world away, but it’s not far to the tar sands in Alberta: as the raven flies, it’s less than 150 kilometres from Fort McMurray.

Montgrand, a La Loche resident, first heard of tar sands plans for Saskatchewan in 1998. Ten years later, in 2008, La Loche municipal leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Calgary-based Oilsands Quest Inc, the first owner of the Axe Lake tar sands concession. “There was no consultation held anywhere. They just went into one little office there and [signed the agreement]. They stole the land away,” Montgrand told The Dominion. “What’s happened in the north is they opened up a floodgate for the companies to come in and do whatever they want.”

Tar sands exploration in the area isn’t entirely new. Several wells were drilled in the 1970s, but the technologies to exploit the bitumen that lies 185 metres underground had not yet been developed. In June 2004, Texas company PowerMax Energy was issued an exploration permit for lands north of the Clearwater River covering 570,000 hectares—a concession the size of Prince Edward Island. Oilsands Quest acquired the permit from Petromax that same year.

After five years of work during which company contractors drilled more than 300 exploratory wells, Oilsands Quest embarked on formal application processes to build and operate multi-well pads for in situ production and a central processing facility. Their estimates pegged the resources at Axe Lake at 30,000 barrels per day for 25 years or more. Because of the depth of the deposit, extraction is complicated and costly. Following the 2008–2009 global market crisis, Oilsands Quest, a junior exploration company, couldn’t get the financing it needed to go ahead. The company filed for bankruptcy in Alberta in 2011, and in the US the following year.

Also in 2011, investors filed a securities fraud class-action lawsuit against Oilsands Quest and its directors, including Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin, alleging they intentionally overstated the value of bitumen resources. A $10.2 million settlement was reached in August 2013. By then, the project was already in the hands of a bigger player with deeper pockets, much less likely to face financing difficulties.

In October 2012, Calgary-based Cenovus Energy bought Oilsands Quest’s remaining assets—the 34,000-hectare oil sands permit in Saskatchewan containing the Axe Lake project, and the Raven Ridge and Wallace Creek leases in Alberta—for $10 million. The three blocks are adjacent to Cenovus’ Telephone Lake project in Alberta. According to the company, if Telephone Lake is approved, construction will begin in 2014.

Montgrand never did find out exactly what was contained in the agreement La Loche signed with industry. Even when he later became a town councillor, he was unable to obtain the document. “I keep telling them until today come out and tell the public,” he said, as the coffee percolated over the fire.

A stone’s throw away, multi-coloured ribbons flutter in the wind. They hang from a small wooden structure housing plaques dedicated to the memory of Montgrand’s parents. The memorial is the first of many, he said, to mark important places where the Denesuline have occupied the territory. To this day, people use the lands up to Axe Lake and far beyond, added Montgrand.

Local trappers say they have also been unsuccessful in finding out the deal’s content, and that they were never consulted about the Axe Lake project. A gate and fences around the project have cut off access to their traplines.

Some 200 kilometres to the south, tar sands exploration work is also underway.

Five oil sands special exploratory permits north of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range were on the auction block at Saskatchewan’s December 2012 sale of Crown petroleum, natural gas and oil sands rights. Two of the bids with a combined value of $1 million were accepted and exploration permits were granted for 200,000 hectares to Scott Land & Lease Ltd. The Calgary-based land services firm acquires surface rights, leases and permits on behalf of corporate clients in the extractive, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Neither the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) nor the two neighbouring communities, St. George’s Hill and Michel Village, were consulted or even notified about the new permits. “There was no consultation whatsoever,” BRDN Chief Lance Byhette told The Dominion. “Due to that fact, we decided to take the province to court regarding this because it’s in our traditional territory.”

On June 4, 2013, the BRDN began legal action against the Saskatchewan government, filing a judicial review application in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The failure to consult violates Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982, according to BRDN, since their members exercise Treaty rights within the areas covered by the oil sands special exploratory permits.

A hearing for the application has been set for November 12–13, 2013 in Saskatoon.

The lands permitted to Scott Land & Lease include hunting, trapping and plant harvesting grounds, as well as cabins, trails, traditional campsites and burial sites. The BRDN reserve is a mere 20 kilometres away. Local people don’t want to see the region turn into what they see in northern Alberta, said Byhette.

Neither does the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). For the past five years, the SES has been advocating for a halt to any provincial permits or approvals for tar sands activities until a strategic regional environmental assessment for northwestern Saskatchewan is carried out.

“The sort of usual process of environmental assessment just looks at one development and the particular impact that that one development would have on a number of features of the environment, but the strategic regional approach is a much more comprehensive planning tool that I think would enable us to make better long-term decisions,” SES research advisor Ann Coxworth told The Dominion. A comprehensive assessment would take the natural features, sociology, economics, culture and so forth into account as a region, she said. SES maintains that the impacts of tar sands extraction go far beyond the individual projects.

A 2009 report produced by the SES, the Pembina Institute and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society found acid rain is both a threat and a current reality in the region. One estimate calculates 65 to 70 per cent of the acid-producing sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from tar sands activity in Alberta is carried over into Saskatchewan by the wind.

Northern Saskatchewan has some of the most acid-sensitive soil in Canada, according to the 2009 report, citing forest soil research produced for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. “The terrain in northwestern Saskatchewan [is] very vulnerable to acid, just because of the nature of the geology. And so if there is an increase in acid rain, it could fairly quickly damage forests and lakes and fish. So I think it’s a really serious issue,” said Coxworth. New tar sands developments in Saskatchewan would likely compound the problem.

Studies or no studies, BRDN members say the impacts have already begun. “People do have concerns and the people that are always occupying the territory, they notice some different changes within the territory,” said Byhette. He went out onto the land with other BRDN members and elders to see some of the changes, including in the pines, for himself. Locals suspect acid rain from Alberta’s tar sands is largely to blame, he said.

With work at the Axe Lake project picking up again under new ownership and with the court challenge to the new exploration permits, the future of the tar sands in Saskatchewan remains uncertain. Byhette and others vow to protect their traditional territories. “We want to for sure maintain that for generations to come,” he said. “We don’t want to see that go. It won’t, is what it boils down to.”

- - -

Sandra Cuffe is a vagabond freelance journalist. She recently spent several months in northern Saskatchewan.
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8372
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - Update Nov. 23, 2014

Postby Oscar » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:51 am

Saskatoon Chapter Council of Canadians Statementin Response to the Dene Trappers Blockade

From: David Greenfield
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 8:49 AM
Subject: [Organize This!] Saskatoon Chapter Council of Canadians Statementin Response to the Dene Trappers Blockade

The Saskatoon Chapter of the Council of Canadians supports the concerns of Dene trappers in northern Saskatchewan who, on November 19th 2014, established a blockade barring access to an oil company access road.

We are in agreement with the northern trappers' concerns regarding the plausible environmental and health impact arising from the activities of oil and other mineral companies in northern Saskatchewan. We acknowledge the right of the Dene people to self-determination on their land and, in particular, the right of those who live closest to the land to determine what types of development do and do not occur on their land.

We acknowledge nonviolent civil disobedience as a valid form of political action in a democratic society, and we are willing to mobilize in support of this or other subsequent blockades, particularly in the event that this or other blockades continue over an extended period of time.

Dave Greenfield et al
Council of Canadians, Saskatoon Chapter

For more information and updates regarding the blockade, please visit the Facebook site:
[ https://www.facebook.com/groups/616097965183898/ ]
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Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - Update Nov. 23, 2014

Postby Oscar » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:35 am

Trappers blockade northern highway

[ http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/sask ... story.html ]

Alliance wants way of life preserved

By Jason Warick, The Starphoenix November 23, 2014 11:00 PM

A group of trappers say they've blockaded a highway in northeast Saskatchewan to fight for their livelihood and the environment.

"They've had enough," said Candyce Paul, spokesperson for the Northern Trappers Alliance. "They're worried what will happen to their land and their way of life if these companies get established."

The blockade of Highway 955 just north of La Loche began at 11 a.m. Saturday.

It began with a Dene prayer, followed by the lighting of a fire on the gravel highway.

Approximately a dozen trappers have established a camp on the side of the road. They've pitched tents and accumulated supplies. They will remain there 24 hours a day until government and resource company officials "get the message," Paul said.

She said government has allowed companies to take over pieces of land long used by trappers living traditionally. This includes the erection of fencing which now blocks traditional trap lines.

Paul said she's seen the damage done to indigenous communities and the environment on trips to the "tarsands" regions of northern Alberta. She doesn't want northern Saskatchewan to suffer the same fate at the hands of oil and uranium companies.

"We just don't want that," she said.

She said the provincial government has made it increasingly difficult to get information on resource exploration in the area.

It's unclear how any blockade will affect activity, according to an official with one company doing business in the region.

Cenovus Energy spokesperson Reg Curren said their work is "very minimal" at the moment, with the exception of some environmental reclamation at Axe Lake.

"We're making sure our site is up to snuff," he said.

MORE:

[ http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/sask ... story.html ]
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Re: SK TARSANDS at La Loche - Update Nov. 23, 2014

Postby Oscar » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:25 pm

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Beaver River Infrastructure

[ http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/n ... astructure ]

Released on February 5, 2015

- - - - -

[ Getting ready for FRACKING/TARSANDS/whatever in Pierceland, NW SK area ]

- - - - - -

The Rural Municipality of Beaver River will benefit from improved wastewater infrastructure thanks to joint federal and provincial funding announced today by Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, on behalf Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Michelle Rempel, and Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter.

Thanks to the combined support of the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, the RM of Beaver River will increase the number of subdivisions, households, industries and businesses that are connected to sanitary sewer systems.

The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are each investing $267,216 through the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund (BCF-CC), with the RM contributing the remaining balance of the $801,650 project.

“Our government is committed to helping communities meet their infrastructure needs so that they can continue to grow and thrive,” Clarke said. “With today’s announcement, we are demonstrating this commitment and helping to create jobs and growth, while providing a more sustainable and efficient wastewater treatment system.”

“The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the importance of investing in infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for Saskatchewan residents,” Reiter said. “We are pleased to be providing more than $267,000 to upgrade the RM of Beaver River’s wastewater treatment system, which will support continued growth and development in the RM.”

“Rural Municipality of Beaver River 622 council and administration has been proactive in terms of dealing with unprecedented growth,” RM of Beaver River Chief Administrative Officer Rita Rogers said. “Considerable effort has been made to accommodate growth areas, and to demonstrate our capacity and preparedness as we go forward. This wastewater lagoon expansion will ensure that we are capable of accommodating the current and future needs of ratepayers and residents of the Rural Municipality of Beaver River 622 in an economical and environmentally sustainable way.”

Since 2007, more than 150 municipal infrastructure projects have been funded by the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan under BCF-CC, benefitting thousands of Saskatchewan residents and their communities.

This project is being funded using savings realized through previous BCF-CC projects coming in under budget, allowing dollars to be recommitted to additional initiatives.

The Building Canada Fund is being replaced by the New Building Canada Plan.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Sarah Still
Government Relations
Regina
Phone: 306-787-2687
Email: sarah.still@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-519-8931

Joanne Mysak
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-975-5942
Email: joanne.mysak@wd-deo.gc.ca

Rita Rogers
Chief Administrative Officer
Rural Municipality of Beaver River
Phone: 306-839-2060
Email: ritarm622@sasktel.net
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