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The oil sands company charged with killing 1,606 ducks in its toxic waste pond wants one of the charges against it to be thrown out.

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Syncrude Canada Ltd. has been charged under both provincial and federal laws after the ducks died in April, 2008 in its 12-square-kilometre tailings pond. The incident stirred international furor, and, to oil sands critics, has come to symbolize the environmental destruction of the massive crude-extracting projects around Fort McMurray.

But in the first day of a two-month trial against the company, its lawyer, Robert White, argued that forcing it to face both charges at the same time would be akin to

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