Alberta defends decision to allow for open-pit coal mining in Rocky Mountains – by Bryan Labby (CBC News Calgary – January 19, 2021)

The province urged the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday to dismiss an application for a judicial review of the UCP government’s decision to allow open-pit coal mining on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

“There’s no getting around the fact that the decision to rescind the coal policy may be seen as an unpopular one to some Albertans,” said Melissa Burkett, a lawyer for the government.

“However, an unpopular decision is not an unlawful decision,” she told the virtual court hearing via video conferencing. Burkett says the courts are not the venue to resolve the issue, arguing such a policy change is within the mandate of elected officials.

“This case is a classic example of what happens when courts are turned into political arenas,” she said.

“The rescission of the coal policy was driven by economic, social, political factors. It was a core, high level policy decision, and it’s immune from this court review,” she said.

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