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Regional chief says First Nations not consulted as Alberta loosens open-pit coal mining rules – APTN News

by ahnationtalk on May 26, 202083 Views

“There could be protests or anything that will slow down any projects.”

First Nations leaders and environmentalists in Alberta are concerned after the provincial government announced updates to open-pit coal mining regulations.

Open-pit coal mining has been banned in some parts of Alberta since 1976, when the province introduced regulations to protect the Rocky Mountains and foothills. On May 15, Energy Minister Sonya Savage announced changes to those regulations.

But Jesse Cardinal, interim director of Keepers of the Water, says open-pit coal mining will cause a lot of harm.

“The Athabasca River flows all the way to the Arctic Ocean,” she said. “So all of those communities depend on that access to the fresh water to feed into that river. Same with the South Saskatchewan River. That goes all the way to Hudson Bay, so that goes all the way to eastern Canada. You think about fresh water that is giving life to these rivers, to keep them clean, so this is a huge, huge concern.”

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