Posted on Apr 13, 2021


EDMONTON - New legislation proposed by NDP Leader Rachel Notley to protect Alberta’s mountains and watersheds from the scarring and pollution of coal mining took an important first step forward today.

The Committee for Private Members’ Bills unanimously endorsed sending the Eastern Slopes Protection Act to the legislature for debate. The UCP MLAs have used their majority to quash every previous Opposition bill.

“Today was only the first step,” Notley said. “I am concerned that Jason Kenney and the UCP are hoping this bill will die on the order paper without ever being debated. So we will be seeking unanimous consent from the Assembly to bring this to the top of the order paper for debate this coming Monday. This is an appropriate measure for a bill that was unanimously endorsed at the committee and that members from both parties described as a matter of great urgency.

“And let’s be clear: this IS urgent. Irreparable damage to our mountains and watersheds is happening as we speak. Coal mining exploration activity is happening on the Eastern Slopes while the Kenney government plays for time with its so-called consultation.”

The Eastern Slopes Protection Act, if passed, would permanently ban coal mining and coal mining exploration activity in Category 1 and 2 lands, and halt new mining and exploration activity in Category 3 and 4 lands pending the development of a comprehensive regional plan built on extensive and thorough consultation with Albertans.

“We are having an online town hall on this topic tonight and I can tell you the number of Albertans registered is overwhelming,” said Notley.

“I urge all Albertans to get loud about this today, reach out to their MLA, and demand that the Eastern Slopes Protection Act be debated in the Alberta legislature on Monday.”