Help protect Alberta's eastern slopes and pristine Headwaters of the Rockies

Help protect Alberta's eastern slopes and pristine Headwaters of the Rockies

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Kelly Blackstock started this petition to premier of alberta Jason Kenney and

RE: Protect interprovincial waters and our environment from coal mining

TO: Premier Jason Kenney and Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson;

     The security of our most precious resource, water, is more important than anything on the planet, for without pure, safe water, there is no life. Water connects all living things. For many years, our provinces, territories and federal governments have recognized the importance of protecting shared waters through transboundary agreements.
     For many decades, the Master Agreement on Apportionment (MAA) has ensured that the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collaborate on the best uses of the waterways in which they are connected. Current and future coal developments on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, at the headwaters of major rivers and tributaries that supply water to millions of people across all 3 provinces, are now threatening that agreement.
    Today, we are asking that you show your leadership in helping protect this agreement and the future of our water and environment, by stopping current exploration and testing on ALL mining leaseholds in the Rockies. Canadians have a right to a healthy environment under Bill C-28 The Canadian Environment Protection Act, the Water Resources Act, the Forest and Prairie Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, and The Public Lands Act. We must ascertain the impact that these coal mining projects will have on all downstream (and air and land) users before they are to proceed any further. The issue of toxins, such as Selenium, leaching into the headwaters near the mines, needs to be solved fully. Financially penalizing the coal companies does not fix the fact that these toxins will forever poison our waters. There is too much uncertainty to ensure proper, healthy environmental protection, as well as full, healthy reclamation of mining sites and impacted surrounding areas.
     We are asking this because it is not just the quality, but also the quantity of water that is of major concern, as the amount of water required in the proposals of such projects, seriously impact the requirements stipulated under the MAA. Under the MAA, Alberta has agreed to direct one-half of the natural flow of its water into the province of Saskatchewan, and further into Manitoba. This water is life for communities, used for drinking water, irrigation, food production, hydro-electricity and/or the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Much of the eastern slopes are subject to droughts, and seasonal water shortages are expected to worsen due to climate change.
     Since the recent G7 meeting regarding climate change, there is a call for ‘No new coal mining projects' as part of a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. We are hopeful that you will stop all current development of ALL types of coal mining (and any other natural resource mining) in the Rockies immediately, until such time as full impact assessments of such projects have proven to have a ‘zero’ negative impact on our water supply and environment. We must not rush or be ‘bullied’ into pushing through ANY development and/or operating permits for ANY foreign or domestic coal or other mining companies to profit from the extraction of our natural resources, at the expense of the environment and health of humanity.
     Open-pit coal mining is NOT in the best interest of the majority of Albertans. Most Albertans care about clean air and reduced greenhouse gases, quality water and sustainable water quantity, healthy and sustainable lands, biodiversity and conserved natural landscapes that support healthy ecosystems. All of this also ties into a healthy economy, providing far more diverse job opportunities for Albertans than a few, very limited automated coal mine employment opportunities. The inadequacy of current Provincial processes to consider the impacts of the mining projects in the area of Federal jurisdictions is also of serious concern to Albertans. We are Canadians first.
     Mr. Kenney, you and the UCP have been given the responsibility and privilege of guiding our province into a healthy, environmental and economic, future, with transparent, open, and honest consultation with all Albertans. While your government is currently conducting a 'public' consultation to develop a 'new’ coal policy, it is imperative ALL Federal and Provincial environmental ACTS and agreements be considered and adhered to and do what is right for ALL Albertans. Your decisions have and will continue to impact us all. Please do the right thing and STOP any further mining activity, before it has gone too far. Protection over profit, please.
Kind regards,
Kelly Blackstock,
Concerned Canadian

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