Alberta conservation group concerned about transfer of coal lease applications in Category 2 land – Lethbridge

An Alberta conservation group is elevating issues over the switch of coal lease applications within the japanese slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Katie Morrison, conservation director on the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta Chapter, says whereas wanting by a database of lease possession, her group got here throughout a switch that raised some issues.

“There have been some lease purposes that, over the summer time, had been transferred from Peace River Coal Company to Cabin Ridge Mission Restricted, who’re very energetic in these Class 2 areas within the japanese slopes space,” she mentioned.

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Minister of Vitality Sonya Savage introduced in April that each one coal exploration initiatives on Class 2 lands could be halted instantly, after a survey confirmed many respondents have vital issues about coal exploration.

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Not included had been lease switch purposes. A spokesperson for the Minister of Vitality confirmed that these usually are not new leases, however reasonably present ones.

“I feel that’s actually disingenuous once we must be, at the moment, participating overtly, absolutely, and in good religion with Albertans on a brand new coal coverage.” mentioned Morrison.

A map supplied by CPAWS exhibits the place Cabin Ridge has property, coal lease and coal lease software. All of it seems to be in the identical space.

Map of coal initiatives and leases for Cabin Ridge Mission Restricted.

Courtesy: CPAWS

“There’s actually no compelling cause why the ministry ought to have accepted this switch of the lease software from one firm to a different throughout this public engagement course of, or earlier than a brand new coverage is created.”

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In an announcement, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Vitality mentioned it is a normal administrative observe of transferring a lease when one firm sells it to a different.

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The assertion reads, partly, “having a lease doesn’t assure improvement — the corporate will nonetheless want regulatory approvals and adjust to all guidelines, rules, insurance policies. All coal exploration actions on class two lands stay halted. Whereas these leases are close to the proposed Cabin Ridge challenge, it could be inappropriate for us to invest on why Cabin Ridge has bought these leases.”

Nonetheless, Morrison is frightened about what this might imply for the way forward for the realm.

“I feel it sends the message to Albertans that the ministry intends to maintain shifting ahead with coal on this space regardless of all that pushback, regardless of all of the engagement that has occurred,” mentioned Morrison.

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In an announcement to International Information, Minister of Vitality Hon. Sonya Savage mentioned, “I’m puzzled why any coal firm would need to buy a lease software for Class 2 lands in that space given the sturdy issues raised by Albertans, with all exploration exercise at present halted, no new leases are being issued, and an unbiased Coal Coverage Committee main a public engagement with Albertans on the way forward for coal improvement in our province. We’ve got been clear that each one exploration exercise in that area has been halted.”

International Information reached out to each Cabin Ridge Mission and Peace River Coal Company for touch upon the lease software switch, however didn’t obtain a reply.

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The ultimate report from the Coal Coverage Committee is due on Nov. 15.

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© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc. | Alberta conservation group involved about switch of coal lease purposes in Class 2 land – Lethbridge


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