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Saskatchewan NDP concerned over Alberta coal mining; asks province to intervene

Last Updated Feb 5, 2021 at 11:43 am MDT

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili poses for a photo outside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, in Regina, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

REGINA — Alberta’s dispute over the expansion of coal mining in the Rocky Mountains has spilled over its boundary into Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan’s Opposition New Democrats say those plans could have impacts downstream on waters they depend on.

In a letter to the province’s environment minister, environment critic Erika Ritchie says the Saskatchewan Party government should press Alberta to restore protections for those mountains and the headwaters they contain.

She says coal mining along the eastern slopes could contaminate both the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers, which Saskatchewan relies on for agriculture and drinking water.

Meanwhile, the Alberta government may be backing down on its plans.

Radio-Canada reports that Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage is promising changes to the province’s coal policy next week.

Savage says in the report that mountaintop mining will be prohibited, although almost no details are provided and the government did not immediately respond to repeated requests for more information.

The Canadian Press