Coal Industry Lobbying

Canada’s Coal Industry and The Power of Lobbying

Presenter: Barrie Webster

Background:  The Coal Industry in Canada – federal government figures

– AB and BC produce 85% of Canada’s coal

– main use of coal is generation of electricity (most thermal coal used domestically)

– coal a key ingredient in manufacturing of steel and cement

– Canada 4th largest exporter of steel-making coal (after Australia, the USA, and Russia)

– total Canadian production 62,000,000 tonnes in 2018

– in 2018, Canada posted regulations for phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/data-analysis/energy-data-analysis/energy-facts/coal-facts/20071

Environment and Consultation be Damned

– legislation rammed through in Alberta during COVID-19 pandemic distraction (Nikiforuk)

– 1976 carefully considered Coal Policy killed

https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/08/03/What-Kenney-Killed-Embrace-Coal/

check map for land classification

https://cpaws-southernalberta.org/category/campaigns/

Lobbying by Trade Association the only kind allowed

– Coal Association of Canada lobbied Alberta’s UCP government to sweep away 44-year-old regulations protecting 1.5 million ha of the Eastern Rockies vital for wildlife and drinking water across three prairie provinces downstream.

– Involvement of several former key government ministers and ministry officials – ethics questions

https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/08/03/Alberta-Coal-Grab-Sound-One-Group-Lobbying/?utm_source=weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=030820

Economic advantages of coal development to Albertaand BC

(and removal of carefully considered Coal Policy of earlier Progressive Conservative government)

https://careersincoal.ca/facts-about-coal/ (This information is from 2010.)

Benefit to PortFacilities (Prince Rupert and Vancouver)

– BC heavy industry employment benefits – coal stacker and loader currently being assembled in Victoria and Vancouver

https://www.timescolonist.com/business/building-giant-device-bolsters-firm-s-reputation-for-manufacturing-prowess-1.24177211

Is this the shape of things to come? Environment? Climate change? The tourist industry? Employment opportunities?

– provincial parks being closed in resource rich areas where open pit mining anticipated

– wildlife habitat in planned open pit mine areas; aquatic life (e.g. fish) downstream

– drinking water downstream across three provinces

– jobs in the coal extraction industry

Questions:

1. Are these employment opportunities real? For how long?

2. Is Alberta’s plan to allow exploitation of open pit coal a feasible one?

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