12/08/2011 01:02 EST | Updated 02/07/2012 05:12 EST

Joslyn Oil Sands: Feds Give Green Light To $9 billion Mine Project

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CALGARY - The federal government has given the green light for the Joslyn oilsands project to go ahead, nearly six years after it was first proposed, and added fuel to the debate over what message Canada should send to the world.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Thursday that construction can now begin on the mine, about 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta., though there remains a two-week consultation period with local First Nations.

He said the prolonged review process for Joslyn shows the need for Canada to streamline its regulatory system so the process goes faster.

"It is crystal clear that we need to put an end to unreasonable delays