AUPE Environmental Committee Issues Earth Day Call to Action
AUPE’s Environmental Committee joins the growing chorus of voices calling for the UCP government to halt the Grassy Mountain coal project and put the brakes on several other mountain-top removal coal mines currently proposed for the southern Rockies.
The government recently introduce a panel to review the province’s coal policy but its toothless. The Terms of Reference prohibit any discussion about water or land use, which is exactly what thousands of Albertans are fighting to protect. The word “environment” appears nowhere in the four-page document.
The eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains have been protected from development for decades. In addition to concerns about wildlife, increased development poses a threat to the water supply for much of south Alberta, in terms of both supply and potential toxicity.
Last month, a Leger poll commissioned by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Livingstone Landowners Group revealed that among those who were aware of potential coal development in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta’s Rockies, 66% opposed new coal mining in the region.
The Official Opposition put forward Private Members Bill 214: The Eastern Slopes Protection Act, which the government hopes to see die on the Order Paper before it is debated.
The Bill proposes:
(a) to protect the critical watersheds, including the Oldman River watershed, and wildlife habitats of the Eastern Slopes from the irreparable damage that would result from coal exploration, development and mining,
(b) to recognize the ecological, cultural, recreational, tourism and agricultural, including irrigation and agricultural processing, values and uses of the Eastern Slopes,
(c) to respect and uphold Indigenous treaty rights, and other aboriginal rights, and Indigenous traditional activities within the Eastern Slopes, and
(d) to preserve the Eastern Slopes for the benefit of current and future generations for ecological, cultural, recreational, tourism and agricultural values and uses.
Your Environmental Committee strongly encourages members to contact your MLA and urge them to support this bill. You can find their contact information here.
Please also contact Energy Minister Sonya Savage (phone 780 427-3740; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) and Environment & Parks Minister Jason Nixon (phone 780 427-2391; e-mail email@example.com).
Let them know you want to see this bill debated in the Legislature and passed.
We wish you and yours a wonderful Earth Day and thank you for your help on this important issue that matters to us all.