CROWSNEST PASS, ALTA. — After the UCP government announced in May it was rescinding the 1976 Coal Mining Policy that prohibits open-pit operations in the Rocky Mountains and foothills, several proposals have been put forward, which officials say could lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the Crowsnest Pass area.
“As long as we follow the environmental policies, I absolutely, fully support industry because it’s creating jobs, it’s giving out kids a future,” said Garett Schmidt who uses the area to quad. “We can’t have people jobless and homeless, we’re resource-rich.”
An Australian company has bid to build the Grassy Mountain Coal project — a 2,800-hectare coal mine north of Blairmore, Alta.
Some, like Schmidt, see mines in the area as a potential economic boom, but others don’t share the same optimism.
“The devastation it would rot on this part of the world is not an acceptable trade-off for a few dollars and a few jobs,” said Dr. Alan Garbutt who used to practice in the area.
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