Oil sands school bus: Alberta is picking up the tab for teacher site tours

Teachers from across Canada are being offered all-paid, six-day field trips to experience the Alberta oil sands.

Inside Education, a non-profit group with backing from Alberta Government and oil and gas companies, is accepting applications from teachers to visit the region and take a tour.

Teachers who participate will tour surface and in-situ sites. There will also be presentations from industry, government, academia, the environmental community and first nations groups.

The program is out reach to counter a negative view of the industry. In a recent poll by Nanos, Canadians said that minimizing the environmental impact of the oil sands was more important than maximizing economic prosperity—a view shared by the leader of the federal NDP party.

Alberta is also seeking to expand its export market to the Asia and wants to run pipelines through British Columbia.

For teachers who participate in the tour, all accommodation, meals and travel are covered, but in order to qualify all participants must complete the full itinerary.

The program consists of indoor and outdoor sessions.

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