Stop Open-Pit Mining from happening around the Canadian Rockies!

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On May 15, 2020, Alberta's energy minister announced that the province's coal policy will be modified as it is "redundant" and "outdated". However, the new policy will allow open-pit mining to occur around the foothills of our beloved Canadian Rockies! Despite the United Conservative Party's tepid reassurances that the mountains themselves will be protected, the new policy allows the areas surrounding the mountains to be decimated and ripped up for coal. This coal will then be shipped off to countries such as China, Japan, and Korea in Asia. No public consultation was done before drafting the new policy, and no clear environmental assessment has been done detailing the harmful effects of any proposed mine.

Open-pit mining is one of the most destructive forms of mining with terrible long-term consequences. If allowed to be done around the Rockies, many harmful effects will happen as a result. These include the destruction of habitat for iconic Albertan species such as the Grizzly Bear, possible contamination of the water in local waterways we use for drinking and bathing, increased greenhouse emissions that result in catastrophic weather events (Australia's Bushfires) and longer seasons for diseases to infect humans, contamination to the air we breathe (which could lead to diseases such as asthma and bronchitis), etc.

As such, taking into account the lack of public engagement, lack of transparency, and lack of assessments for environmental impacts, the Government of Alberta should stop or at least delay the granting of licenses to mining companies until all of the above steps are carried out. Any true democratic government should determine all the possible detrimental effects on their citizens before making a decision that will affect them, instead of trying to pass a new policy without anyone noticing.

Sources: 

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/environmental-advocates-concerned-by-alberta-s-new-rules-for-coal-mining-1.4952655

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/yes-climate-change-did-influence-australias-unprecedented-bushfires/

https://globalnews.ca/news/6970786/alberta-coal-restrictions-foothills-ucp/