June 8th, 2021
MP McPherson tables coal mining bill
Edmonton NDP MP Heather McPherson’s bill would ensure that all coal projects are required to undergo federal impact assessment prior to approval
Today, NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton Strathcona) took aim at the United Conservative government’s plans to allow coal mining in the Rocky Mountains by tabling a Private Members’ Bill designed to ensure that all new coal projects will be subject to federal review.
Bill C-308 amends the federal Impact Assessment Act to remove minimum coal production capacity limits for new mines, effectively putting the future of coal mining in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and Eastern Slopes in the hands of the federal government. Currently, projects with output of less than 5000t/day do not require federal assessment.
McPherson, the lone non-Conservative MP in the Alberta caucus, didn’t hesitate to identify her motivation for the bill, stating “We can't trust Jason Kenney to protect the Rocky Mountains and Eastern Slopes.”
McPherson’s bill comes just 10 days before the joint review of Australia’s Benga Mining Limited’s Grassy Mountain application is scheduled to land on federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s desk. The controversial Grassy Mountain proposal, located in the Crowsnest Pass area of the Alberta Rockies, sparked outrage among Albertans in the region and downstream from the mine, with environmentalists and Indigenous activists joining farmers, ranchers, and tourism proponents to protest the mine that will decapitate Grassy Mountain. At least three other coal mines are also being proposed in the area.
“Coal mining is not the future Albertans want or need,” added McPherson. “Albertans are asking the federal government to stand up to Jason Kenney and stop him from destroying our mountains, our water, our wildlife, and our land for generations to come.”