Judge orders Alberta to hand over documents related to coal policy – by Emma Graney (Globe and Mail – April 17, 2024)


The Alberta government has been ordered by a court to hand over a swath of records pertaining to its 2019 decision to quietly nix a policy governing where coal mines can be built in the province.

The case stems back to 2020, when a group of Southern Alberta ranchers requested records around the United Conservative government’s decision to rescind the province’s 1976 Coal Policy without any consultation. The decision caused public backlash so fierce it forced the government to backpedal and introduce new rules around coal mining.

The ranchers had asked for correspondence and briefing materials about the decision, including internal memos, reviews, reports, e-mails and letters. But Alberta Energy dragged its heels and returned few records, many of which were redacted.

Documents previously released to the group confirm the government was talking with the coal industry for years about relaxing a policy that protected the Rocky Mountains from open-pit mines.

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