Coal workers defend mining – by Tim Kalinowski (Lethbridge Herald – February 2, 2021)

Coal mine workers in Alberta say they understand the need to balance environmental concerns about their industry with the financial benefits derived from the product they produce.

“We have been clear on this: mining yes, but not everywhere, everytime,” says United Steelworkers Western Canadian director Stephen Hunt, whose union represents miners at the Wabaman Highvale mine.

“You also have to balance the interests of the broader public that are affected by mining. That is something we consider as well, and we think we are responsible in that (as an industry).

If you can’t do it safely, and you can’t protect the people who are downstream, then maybe you shouldn’t mine there. With the technologies we have today, I don’t see a reason why we should be contaminating anybody’s water source.”

It also helps if you have union members working in those mines holding the corporations to account, says United Mine Workers of America Canada international auditor and teller Jody Dukart.

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