Alberta company seeks judicial review of Ottawa’s reversal on Vista coal mine – by Emma Graney (Globe and Mail – September 1, 2020)

A company seeking to expand its Alberta coal mine is taking the federal government to court, arguing Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson overstepped his jurisdiction to appease “political activists” when he decided to review the project.

Mr. Wilkinson decided last December to keep the federal government out of the approvals process for expansion of the Vista coal mine, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 40 kilometres east of Jasper National Park.

But last month he changed his mind, saying the project would have “significant” environmental effects that fall under federal jurisdiction, triggering the need for an assessment.

He also said he was concerned that Vista had lodged two separate expansion applications for what amounted to a single project – a charge rejected by operator Coalspur Mines Ltd., which argued in its court application that the two projects are not connected in any way.

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