VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 15, 2014) - Neil Young, who is now on a four-city tour to raise money and awareness for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defense Fund, has come under attack from Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his insistence that the rights of First Nations be respected under treaty agreements made over a century ago. While Prime Minister Harper attacks the man, he is ignoring both the failure of his government to honor treaties made with First Nations as he backs pro oil sands industry policies at all costs and the environmental damage done by exploitation of the oil sands.
What follows is a Harper's Index that details the effects oil sands exploitation is having on the health of communities that live at the front lines and the greenhouse gas implications of continued oil sands development.
Percentage of traditional territory of the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations that has been rendered inaccessible for most of the year by tar sands development: 80%
Treaty violations documented by the Beaver Lake Cree: 20,000
Percentage increase in cancer rates of the residents of Fort Chipewyan: 30%
Number of years since Treaty 8, which protects First Nations' rights to consultation, was signed: 115
Percentage decrease in Woodland Caribou herds since 1996 in Beaver Lake Creek Nation territory: 70%
Millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions oil sands will grow to in 2020 with business as usual: 104
Millions of litres spilled into the Athabasca River from the October 31, 2013 incident when a containment pond was breached at the Obed Mountain coal mine: 674
Number of countries that Canada's tar sands emissions exceed: 85
Times greater of emissions from producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands versus a barrel of conventional oil: 3.5
Rank of the oil sand for fastest greenhouse gas emissions growth in Canada: 1
After 46 years of development, the percentage of the boreal forest that has been returned to its natural state: .15%
Expected number of dead birds from oil sands development over the next 20 years: 30 million
Dollars raised from crowdsourcing in four weeks to support the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations legal defence: $40,000