Today Erika Ritchie, Official Opposition Critic for the Environment, wrote to Saskatchewan Environment Minister Warren Kaeding and Water Security Agency Minister Fred Bradshaw urging them to put pressure on the Government of Alberta to restore protections against coal mining that were recently scrapped by the Government of Alberta.
“People in Saskatchewan are very concerned that opening the door to open-pit coal mining in the Rockies is opening the door to serious contamination of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers,” said Ritchie. “By repealing protections against coal mining that have been in place since 1976, the UCP government in Alberta is running the risk of polluting the major sources of Saskatchewan’s agricultural and drinking water supplies.”
In 2020 the Government of Alberta repealed regulations that protected large stretches of the Rocky Mountains and the eastern slopes from metallurgical coal mining. These protections had been in place since 1976, and since their repeal last year, many organizations, municipalities, and public figures have called for the restoration of the policy. Metallurgical coal mining projects in British Columbia have been found to contribute to damaged fish populations and contaminated drinking water.
“These Sask. Party ministers aren’t responsible for Jason Kenney’s decision to repeal these protections,” said Ritchie. “But these ministers do have a responsibility to stand up for our province and put pressure on Jason Kenney’s government to restore the coal policy and protect these valuable water sources.”