Head of Alberta coal mining panel says trust in regulatory system to be examined – by Bob Weber (Globe and Mail/Canadian Press – May 31, 2021)


A public consultation committee on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains will consider why Albertans’ level of trust in the province’s regulatory bodies is so low, the panel’s head said Monday.

In an hour-long phone-in show on CBC Radio, Ron Wallace said he’s concerned by results of a recent government survey on coal mining. Wallace pointed out that of about 25,000 respondents, 85 per cent said they were not confident that the industry was being adequately regulated.

“If people have diminished confidence that the regulators are protecting the public interest, then that’s a major thing,” he said.

Wallace and his panel are consulting Albertans on how the government should develop coal resources. Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives had planned an extensive expansion of the industry, which would have opened tens of thousands of hectares of foothills and summits to open-pit mining.

The panel was struck in response to vocal outcry over the plan, which was announced before any feedback or advice had been sought.

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