Second Alberta town asks for coal consultations, pause on exploration

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A second southern Alberta town is asking the provincial government to order a stop to coal exploration work until public consultations on the issue can be held.

The town council of Turner Valley approved last night a letter making the request to several United Conservative government ministers.

The town of High River approved a similar letter on Monday.

The town of Canmore, about 100 kilometres west of Calgary, has also passed a resolution asking the province to restore environmental protections to land now being explored for open-pit coal mines.

At least seven communities in southern Alberta have expressed concerns about the government's plans to dramatically expand the industry.

Those communities run from a large city to hamlets of a few hundred people.

Coal opponents fear contamination of river headwaters as well as the destruction of one of the province's most treasured landscapes.

The issue arose after the government revoked a policy last spring without warning that had protected those landscapes for more than 40 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press