That is now a question that we can answer with some confidence. And the results couldnt be more telling.
The government of Alberta recently released the results from the Coal Policy Engagement Survey, an online questionnaire that was opened to Albertans from March 29-April 19. I hope many of you took the time to participate. In just 20 days, close 25,000 Albertans took the time to voice their opinions over the controversial topic of coal mining in Alberta’s eastern slopes. Close to 14,000 of those responses came from southern Alberta residents. The overwhelming consensus? The majority of respondents felt these developments would affect them and further believed there are areas in our province that are not appropriate for Coal mining (such as the environmentally significant areas like the Oldman watershed).
But really, we already all knew that. But at least now we know the government knows too. Loud and clear.
Here are some interesting figures and results from the survey
** All figures and results taken from the Alberta Governments Coal Policy Engagement Initial engagement survey results document (link below).
Do Albertans think Coal is important for the Economy??
What Issues are Albertans concerned about??
Do Albertans trust the process for Coal development??
Simple answer: No!
More than 85 per cent of respondents indicated they were not at all confident that coal exploration/development in Alberta is regulated to ensure it is safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible.
Where do we NOT want Coal??
So, there you have it. Of course, that is only a summary of the results. To see more, follow the link to the full document that outlines the results!
So what does this mean? Well, for one it means the government can no longer pretend they are sticking up for the voices of Albertans. It means that its on paper, in the government databases, that a significant chunk of the population is opposed to these developments. And it also means the government will have to deliver on more engagement and enact more protection measures before they are able to move forward with Coal. And I think that’s a win.
Please continue to voice your concerns to your MLA’s and be sure to participate in the further public engagement!
I hope everyone has an excellent May long weekend and has the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful eastern slopes and wild areas in our backyard; they are an important part of what makes us Albertan, and who knows what their future holds.
Thanks for reading!