Posted on Jul 19, 2021


CALGARY - Rachel Notley and Alberta’s NDP will continue to oppose Jason Kenney’s plans to scar Alberta’s Rocky Mountains with coal mining and poison critical watersheds with selenium and other byproducts of coal mining.


Notley will re-introduce the Eastern Slopes Protection Act as the very first private members bill to be debated in the fall.


“Albertans can be confident that every member of the NDP caucus will enthusiastically support this bill to protect these distinctly Albertan outdoor spaces and protect the watersheds that provide us with clean water for farmers and ranchers and families right across Alberta,” Notley said. “I encourage every Albertan who has a UCP MLA to reach out to them and tell them to support this bill.”


The Eastern Slopes Protection would permanently ban coal mining and exploration activity in category 1 and 2 lands, and halt all mining and exploration activity in category 3 and 4 lands pending the outcome of a regional planning process informed by thorough and meaningful consultation with Albertans.


Notley introduced the Act in April, but the Kenney government refused to bring it to a vote, and it will die on the order paper when the government begins a new legislative session in the fall.


“We will bring this to a vote and I sincerely hope it passes,” Notley said. “But one way or another we will put the UCP caucus on record on whether they want to protect the Eastern Slopes or not.”


Kevin van Tighem, former superintendent of the Banff National Park, joined Notley for the announcement.


“I was born and raised in Alberta and my family roots here go back to 1875,” van Tighem said. “During my childhood our family camped and fished along the Eastern Slopes from the Oldman north to the headwaters of the Brazeau.  It was paradise to us, and became deeply a part of my personal identity just as those foothills and mountains have done for so many other Albertans.  


“I and many thousands of other Albertans are so grateful and relieved to know that Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP still know what matters to Albertans - a beautiful, livable province with clean rivers and a secure water future - and are prepared to protect our Eastern Slopes by slamming the brakes on coal and inviting us all to work out better plans for its future. 


“Only someone who doesn’t care about the wishes of Albertans and the future well-being of this province would vote against this bill.”