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e-3178

Petition to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Whereas:
  • It is Canada’s duty to ensure that resource exploration and development proposals meet the highest standards of consultation and involvement with Indigenous peoples in accordance with section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the TRC 94 Calls to Action;
  • Alberta failed its duty to consult under section 35 by rescinding the 1976 Alberta Coal Policy (the “Policy”) on June 1, 2020, without consulting First Nations on land use decisions;
  • While Alberta’s Minister of Energy reinstated the Policy on February 8, 2021, numerous coal exploration leases remain active;
  • Coal exploration and development on land formerly protected under the Policy threatens the environment, species at risk, water quality and infringes upon Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations from Treaties 6, 7 & 8;
  • The Impact Assessment process for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project (“Grassy”) does not take into consideration the cumulative impacts of new coal exploration activity and mine proposals in the region; and
  • The Joint Review Panel of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the “Agency”) will submit their report regarding Grassy to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in June 2021.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to:
1. Instruct the Agency to conduct a Regional Assessment of the impacts of all proposed coal developments and exploratory activity in Southwest Alberta on Treaty and Aboriginal rights, water quality, species at risk and the environment; and
2. Delay a decision regarding Grassy until the cumulative impacts of all mining activity in the region have been adequately considered.

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