Scanning the web for Alberta news and views Inspired by Verna Milligan & Carol Wodak
Highway 16 has been a pinch point for drugs, feeding the Prairie provinces from the west for many, many years. We know there’s organized crime that exists there, and we know that it’s been a pinch point for drug activity for many years.Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT task force in Lloydminster
Alberta at Noon with Judy Aldous – Feb. 9, 2021: UCP reverses direction on coal policy https://t.co/Hhg1QHPzgT
— seniorcentric (@seniorcentric1) February 11, 2021
In a low-quality video that spread on Twitter last week, Kenney was misheard as saying: “Some people have said our gov’t repealed the 1976 coal policy that banned coal mining in the Eastern Slopes. We did no such thing.”
That’s not what he said.
Here’s a better version…(🔊⬆️) pic.twitter.com/P494ZOZC82
— Robson Fletcher (@CBCFletch) February 9, 2021
CPAWS Celebrates Reinstatement of Alberta Coal Policy, but More Protections Urgently Needed for Eastern Slopes of the Rockies
Today’s announcement from the Minister of Energy on the reinstatement of the 1976 Coal Policy is a significant step forward. This announcement is thanks to the tens of thousands of Albertans who raised their voices in opposition to open-pit mining in the Rocky Mountains and the impacts of the rescission of the Coal Policy on our lands and waters. Our teams celebrate this announcement and we thank the Government of Alberta for listening to the concerns of Albertans.
“We are glad the government is planning to engage in a public consultation on the development of a new coal policy and we have high expectations. Albertans have clearly stated they want more protections for the Eastern Slopes,” says Katie Morrison, Conservation Director with CPAWS Southern Alberta. “The outcome of these consultations must accurately reflect the views of Albertans. It will be very important that Albertans participate fully in this upcoming consultation to ensure it addresses all coal mining in the Rockies.”
Our teams agree the Coal Policy requires updating. However, having this policy back in place ensures some basic protections for ecologically sensitive areas of our province. Given their commitment to consultation, it is premature that the Alberta government is also stating they are seriously considering expanding the coal mining industry in the Rockies. Any updated policy or new legislation needs to reflect current realities such as species at risk, climate change, water scarcity, and the value these landscapes hold for Albertans. It is clear that the 1976 Coal Policy, although well constructed and based on feedback from Albertans at the time, is not sufficient to protect everything that Albertans hold dear today.
The Government of Alberta’s process in rescinding the Coal Policy last year also revealed serious concerns with transparency from our provincial government and we will expect much greater transparency going forward. It is clear that coal mining companies knew about the policy rescission long before Albertans did, allowing them to submit applications before the Coal Policy was rescinded. Companies do not go through the application process unless they have some certainty that they can proceed.
“We have serious concerns about the six projects that are still allowed to conduct exploration activities,” says Christopher Smith, Parks Coordinator with CPAWS Northern Alberta. “Exploration activities cause great damage to our lands and waters. There are currently hundreds of new drill sites and hundreds of kilometers of new roads that are a direct result of the removal of the coal policy. Allowing these activities to continue is not appropriate.”
Other projects such as Benga’s Grassy Mountain and Montem’s Tent Mountain and Chinook projects are also not addressed by this announcement and will continue to go forward in highly sensitive and well-loved areas. There needs to be a full stop on all exploration and development activities until a new land-use plan is created that offers more protections to these important landscapes.
The rescission of the Coal Policy and related mineral exploration has brought to light the fragility of the protections afforded to Alberta’s Eastern Slopes. The response from Albertans has made it clear that Alberta’s foothills and Rocky Mountains are essential to Albertans’ identity and quality of life. The general public, Indigenous communities, municipalities, ranchers, and recreationalists want to see these areas better protected. Any new policy, or preferably, legislation, must address the cumulative impacts of all land uses in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes. Given that regional land-use plans are not yet in place throughout the Eastern Slopes, we feel that the Land Use Secretariat should lead the upcoming consultation process.
“Consultation brings a welcome opportunity for Albertans to re-envision their ideal future for Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and foothills – one that better protects our water sources, wildlife, and landscapes that are intrinsic to Alberta’s identity,” says Morrison.
Bundled up in her scarf, tuque, and mask, my non-Muslim friend joked that she was as covered up as a Muslim woman in hijab. Yet she wasn’t, she realized, subject to any of the harassment that those Muslim women face.
It’s far beyond a joking matter in Edmonton now. Muslim women are being openly attacked and assaulted for wearing the hijab and niqab. And these assaults keep getting more frequent, and more severe.
In January, in two separate incidents, veiled Muslim women were assaulted in and around Southgate Mall in Edmonton. On Friday, February 5, 2021, two more Muslim women were attacked in what the Edmonton Police Service called “hate motivated” attacks.
I’ve been harassed for wearing hijab, both in Edmonton and in Montreal, and anxiety over how people will react to our clothing has been very real for Muslim women in Canada for a long time. But the escalating violence in Edmonton is taking that anxiety to the level of real fear for our lives and our safety. That anxiety is heightened for Black Muslim women
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