Message from the Chair
On behalf of the Coal Policy Committee, welcome to our engagement website. And thank you for taking time to visit and learn about what we’re doing.
During March and April, the Government of Alberta opened a preliminary survey about coal and the coal policy and it received nearly 25,000 responses. Our committee has been reviewing those responses to help inform our approach. The responses signal that Albertans are eager for a vigorous analysis and debate about coal development in our province. That’s exactly what we intend to do as an independent committee.
It’s clear that a lot of people have questions about coal, the different types of coal, how they’re used, how they’re developed, what the risks are and whether technology has changed much since 1976. We share those views and intend to discuss many of those same questions with Albertans. We’re going to do our best to provide information on this website and as we learn more, we’re going to share it with you.
It’s also quite clear that water quality and land use, as they relate to possible coal development, are of concern to Albertans. Many have said that the potential impacts on water must be carefully examined, as well as the potential impacts on air quality, biodiversity, land disturbance, and culture and tourism. We intend to hear from Albertans, including Indigenous communities, in order to form recommendations about a new, modernized Coal Policy for Alberta.
We know there are significant concerns associated with the Coal Policy and we understand why. The stakes are high and we want to get this right for all Albertans.
“It should come as no surprise that in the time since the Eastern Slopes Policy and the 1976 Coal Policy were developed changing times have led to changing perceptions among Albertans. Just as the climate is changing, so is the economy and equally are the expectations of citizens who cherish their futures and that of their children and grandchildren. We openly solicit engagement with those Albertans who choose to embrace constructive dialogue about how our cherished resources are managed and protected. We promise to hear those who choose to participate with us as we develop recommendations for sound policies. This is the single most essential step to the achievement of desired outcomes for Albertans.”
Our committee is designed to be an independent voice and we’re going to bring that spirit to our work by engaging in an open and transparent process. The committee will be guided by the evidence and by what Albertans have to say.
This website will be a big part of that. We’ll be posting written submissions that we receive from key stakeholders and subject matter experts, so that you can read what we’re reading.
We’re also going to meet with many different groups, including Indigenous Peoples, landowners, environmental organizations, representatives from various economic sectors and the research community. Also, importantly, we’re going to ask Albertans-at-large for their thoughts.
We have many different areas where we need your advice and wisdom, so please keep checking this website. We will be asking questions that require your input – plus we’ll be posting regular updates about what Albertans are telling us.
Thank you for taking part in our process.
Ron Wallace, Ph.D.
Chair, Coal Policy Committee