4 ways to speak up for nature during the first stage of the Province’s coal policy consultation
On February 8, when the provincial government reinstated the 1976 Coal Policy, they announced a multi-part engagement plan with Albertans about a new, revised coal policy.
This public consultation process is now underway.
The first stage, happening now through April 19, includes a short survey and creating an independent committee tasked with listening to Albertans. A more comprehensive public consultation process will follow later in the year after the results of this initial survey are assessed.
Water, wildlife and recreation still at risk
One thing is clear: despite consulting Albertans on a “new” coal policy, the Province still seeks to exploit its metallurgical coal reserves and expand an industry that puts drinking water for millions of people, recreation access, and wildlife habitat at risk.
Exploration activities such as roads and drill pads for numerous projects are happening right now, and more than 1,000 active coal agreements remain in place throughout the mountains, foothills and prairies. Coal mines in Alberta could have far-reaching impacts.
Tens of thousands of Albertans from across the political spectrum with varied backgrounds have already asked for mountains — not mines.
Yet again, it is time to stand up for water, wildlife and wild places.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
1. Complete the survey before April 19.
It’s important to fill out the survey to the fullest extent. Questions 1, 12, 13 and 16 allow personal comments to share your thoughts on how coal mining affects you and the places you love, among other related issues.
We compiled some key points being considered by Y2Y for the list of survey questions. Feel free to refer to these as you fill out the survey; but remember that writing in your own voice is most powerful!
2. Write your elected officials.
It is critically important that our elected officials hear from you during this consultation.
Write the Ministers of Energy, and Environment and Parks, and share what’s most important to you for the future of the mountains, foothills and headwaters, and why you value these areas.
Here are some suggested asks:
- Alberta’s Eastern Slopes must be kept as intact as possible.
- Our headwaters are no place for open-pit coal mines.
- There needs to be an immediate stop to ongoing exploration activities.
- Coal exploration, and current and future coal mine operation permit applications should be paused until full land-use planning is complete.
Here’s who to contact:
Don’t stop talking about this trans-boundary issue that impacts people and nature. Nature needs your voice!
4. Send this post to your friends and family and urge them to speak up.
In the meantime, you can also stay tuned for additional ways to get involved.
Alberta’s Eastern Slopes need more than a new coal policy
Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and foothills are in need of greater protections, not less.
Recent research shows this region is one of the most important places in Canada for freshwater, carbon storage and recreation — not to mention important wildlife habitat and connectivity.
These areas are also an important and still mostly intact part of the bigger Yellowstone to Yukon region.
The Eastern Slopes need more than a new coal policy. They need a comprehensive land-use planning process — one that incorporates science-based decision-making.
By participating in this public consultation process, you are taking an important step to ensure critical ecosystems and intact mountain landscapes that benefit humans and wildlife alike are protected for future generations.
Have your say
Complete Alberta’s coal policy engagement survey before April 19, 2021. Your voice is needed now more than ever.
Header photo: Connie Simmons
Background photo: C Jarrold