Posted on Jan 19, 2021


EDMONTON - A hearing in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench began this morning as First Nations, ranchers, municipal officials and environmentalists dispute the UCP’s unilateral decision to rescind Alberta’s Coal Policy.

The request for judicial reviews challenges the UCP’s decision that could harm large portions of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, ranchlands, and headwaters that supply water to Alberta. 

In a statement made by Minister Savage, the UCP announced the cancellation of eleven coal mine leases, which only account for 0.002% of land in the area already leased out for coal exploration, according to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

“The UCP wanted to make it look like they were doing something but the truth is, their plans to rip off the tops of our mountains are still well underway,” said Alberta NDP Critic for Environment, Marlin Schmidt. “Without the coal policy in place, the delicate landscape in the eastern slopes could be irreparably destroyed.”  

The eastern slopes, where coal leases are currently held, contain important channels to most rivers in Alberta that are a source for drinking water, irrigation and industry and the water is heavily allocated. 

The UCP have also reopened water allocation agreements in this area. 

“The lack of public consultation and the quiet, back door approach that the UCP continue to take is a consistent and disturbing trend. Albertans deserve to have a say in such an important resource that belongs to the people of this province,” said Schmidt.