The Syncrude Canada Ltd refinery separates the oil from the sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada in November 2008. (Photo by Veronqiue de Viguerie/Getty Images)
Who benefits from Canada’s tar sands? In Alberta – a central site for the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve – several environmental disasters have occurred recently, including toxic spills that have called into question some of the practices used by energy companies. While the tar sands have been extremely profitable for Canada, at what cost is it to the environment and people?