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Alberta environment minister defends coal consultation at municipalities meeting

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 3:06 pm MDT

Jason Nixon, Angela Pitt and Leela Aheer stand during a press conference in Edmonton on Monday, October 30, 2017. Top advisers to Alberta's environment minister were cautious about the government's plans to shrink the province's parks system and made recommendations he didn't follow. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon is defending the province’s planned coal consultations.

In response to a question at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention, Nixon says the province’s freshwater management hasn’t changed.

He was responding to a question from Jim Willett, mayor of Coutts, Alta., who wondered why Albertans won’t be able to discuss water at the province’s upcoming consultations on coal development.

READ MORE: Coal Consultation called a staggering betrayal of the public’s trust

The terms of reference for the consultation rule out any consideration of water or land use issues.

Willett says possible threats to water are one of the main reasons Albertans are concerned about the United Conservative government’s expansion plans for the industry.

He asked Nixon if there would be another chance to air those concerns.

Nixon says Alberta’s water rules remain in place and won’t be changed to accommodate coal mining.