Posted on Apr 19, 2021


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney’s UCP government has refused to expedite debate on NDP Leader Rachel Notley’s legislation to protect Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and watersheds from scarring and pollution of coal mining.


“Jason Kenney and the UCP are ignoring Albertans,” Notley said. “People from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of political views - they want to see this bill debated. They want to know where their elected MLAs stand, and they want this bill passed as soon as possible. Today’s action by the Kenney government is a betrayal of these Albertans.”


Today, Notley formally asked the government to bring the Eastern Slopes Protection Act up for immediate debate, to enable a final vote before the end of the Spring legislative session. The request required unanimous consent from the Legislature; however, UCP MLAs voted against the request, meaning the Act is unlikely to be debated and will die on the order paper. 


The vote comes just days after it was discovered that the UCP’s consultation to develop a new coal policy will not consider the impacts of coal mining on land and water protection.


Notley’s bill was unanimously approved to proceed to the house by four NDP MLAs and six UCP MLAs at the committee stage. Despite passing this crucial first stage, it was then moved to the bottom of the legislative order paper. 


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


“Today’s vote shows the UCP has no intention of protecting our eastern slopes. Instead, they’re focused on how they can strip mine this pristine area,” said Notley. “Their consultation is a total joke. To every Albertan who has spoken up to protect our mountains and watersheds, I promise we will continue to fight for you, your beloved natural spaces, and your clean water supply.”