Opinion: Grassy Mountain mine decision hurts community and Alberta’s reputation – by Eric Lowther (Edmonton Journal – July 29, 2021)


Eric Lowther was a member of Parliament, representing Calgary Centre in the House of Commons, as well as a municipal councillor for Rocky View County.

It is just not right. After nearly five years engaged in a rigorous government process, successfully meeting an ever-increasing number of regulatory requirements, bolstered by the support of First Nations communities and affected residents, after doing everything right and being willing to do even more, the company proposing the Grassy Mountain coal mine was effectively told to go away.

It’s like applying for a position, writing the tests, going through numerous personal evaluations — passing every single one — and being encouraged along the way, only to be told at the end of process that the position never really existed. That’s nasty, that’s wrong and that is what happened to Benga Mining.

And it is also what happened to the hardworking people in the municipality of Crowsnest Pass.

It’s no surprise that both the mining company, Piikani First Nation and Stoney Nakoda First Nations have launched legal appeals.

This unbelievable decision was made even as the province is cutting funding to municipalities, forcing them to decide between cutting services or raising already-high property taxes, and when unemployment in Alberta is the highest in Canada — even higher in southwestern Alberta — and provincial debt is soaring.

For the rest of this column: https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-grassy-mountain-mine-decision-hurts-community-and-albertas-reputation