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The tar sands. A drama of epic proportions that  we'll tell story by story over one year.
The tar sands. A drama of epic proportions that we'll tell story by story over one year.
741 backers pledged CA$ 53,040 to help bring this project to life.

Your dollars at work on "a very, very, very serious issue." (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Posted by The Vancouver Observer (Creator)
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Dear Friends,

"The oil sands are emblematic of an era that must end," Bishop Desmond Tutu declared at a conference in Fort McMurray last month. And then, he gave another important message, which, thanks to your dollars, filmmaker Bill Weaver shot for Vancouver Observer and the Tar Sands Reporting Project and recorded in this film-in-progress below...

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Photo of Tutu by Bill Weaver
Photo of Tutu by Bill Weaver

Your dollars meant that the Vancouver Observer could be on hand to record Bishop Tutu, as well as eminent scientist Dr. David Schindler, a Suncor PR flak, and Fort McMurray family physician Dr. John O'Connor, about public health impacts of the tar sands.

"So where in God's name are the public health studies?" O'Connor asked in an interview with VO.  He's watched too many people die of a rare cancer and for several years he has been demanding Alberta bring in an independent scientist to study this critical issue.  For some reason, the government ignores his pleas.

Dr. John O'Connor in a photograph by Andrew S. Wright
Dr. John O'Connor in a photograph by Andrew S. Wright

It meant we could catch Tutu on camera after he flew over the tar sands. 

And your backing  gave us funds to tell the story of the tragic death of Syncrude executive Barb Jewers.  Jewers was one of Dr. O'Connor's patients.  She passed away within 5 months of learning she suffered from bile duct cancer.

The late Barb Jewers in a photo provided by her friend, Riaz Khan
The late Barb Jewers in a photo provided by her friend, Riaz Khan

Earlier this year, your money allowed VO to uncover the fact that Canada's top spy watchdog was planning on working for Enbridge, Inc. as a lobbyist.

Chuck Strahl, Canada's former top spy watchdog, registered as Enbridge lobbyist
Chuck Strahl, Canada's former top spy watchdog, registered as Enbridge lobbyist

Strahl resigned from his government post after intense public outcry.

And when Harper's Conservatives approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal a week or so ago, we were able to be there to record the huge outpouring of protesters as they took to the streets.

Your dollars meant we could afford to get Mychaylo Prystupa to make the video.

And to follow the story further, as Canada's Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision last week.

Tsilhqot'in Chief Roger William, from the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, reacting to the news of a Supreme Court victory at a Vancouver press conference Thursday
Tsilhqot'in Chief Roger William, from the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, reacting to the news of a Supreme Court victory at a Vancouver press conference Thursday

 

Now, we are going to make an even larger impact on Canada's energy conversation

We're taking our tar sands and energy reporting to the national level this fall with a new digital platform, The National Observer.  

National Observer preliminary design
National Observer preliminary design


Upon winning the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Award for regional media in Canada, I announced our plans to 500 journalists and media company owners at CJF's gala in Toronto.

(Note; That we won the Excellence in Journalism Award indicates the power of the work this Kickstarter is making possible.)

Me and Matt Millar, Canadian Journalism Foundation gala
Me and Matt Millar, Canadian Journalism Foundation gala

Our goal with the National Observer is to serve Canadians’ hunger for more independent, unbiased journalism and special investigations.

We are looking to build partnerships, we are looking for investors, and we are looking for input on how to make the National Observer an outstanding online-only newspaper that, in the words of the late great journalist, David Halberstam, can be “an aggressive, combative, fearless voice of the people, a public trust.”

Aerial photo tarsands, one of set created by Andrew S. Wright for Tar Sands Reporting Project
Aerial photo tarsands, one of set created by Andrew S. Wright for Tar Sands Reporting Project

 

 Because the story continues...

Koch brothers move to develop first lease on huge holdings in tar sands
Koch brothers move to develop first lease on huge holdings in tar sands


Best Regards,

Linda



 


 


Cher Thorsen, Reynold Reimer, and 7 more people like this update.

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