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Remains unclear if Stelmach saw ducks images
Suggestions are being thrown out Tuesday that Premier Ed Stelmach is trying to distance himself from some disturbing images from a gripping video illustrating hundreds of ducks killed on a Fort McMurray tailings pond.
Just one day ago, Stelmach said he hadn't seen the images.
"You asked me if I saw them, I haven't seen them," Stelmach said Monday.
The video was submitted in court last week during Syncrude's trial. The company entered a not guilty plea to both provincial and federal charges after the animals were found dead inside the toxic pond near Fort McMurray in May 2008.
The video shows a number of birds coated in bitumen trying to escape the tailings pond.
Stelmach offered a different response on Tuesday when asked if he had seen the images.
"I did not see those pictures at all -- prior to them being delivered to the court as evidence," he said.
Political analyst Chaldeans Mensah suggests the premier is trying to distance himself from the incident altogether in an attempt to avoid national and international backlash against the oilsands.
"'I haven't seen it' means - I'm oblivious to all the negativity that is coming out against Alberta."
The opposition says the premier needs to see the images, and deal with the criticism.
"You need to know what the problem is, so then you can focus on fixing it. This is willful blindness and denial, and it hurts Albertans," said NDP MLA Rachel Notley.
A spokesperson for Stelmach tells CTV News staff members have put together some of the pictures from the trial for the premier to view.
With files from Bill Fortier