November 29th, 2020

Concerns about proposed open-pit mine

By Letter to the Editor on November 12, 2020.

John Graham wrote a book about about open-pit mining in Virginia. It is well worth reading by all southern Albertans and by Alberta politicians – especially by its premier.

Graham shows what devastation can occur in a small coal mining community where a large coal company comes in to an otherwise content farming community which has hit hard times. There are no jobs, very little income and not much hope. The company begins to blow off the top of Gray Mountain to mine the coal. Suddenly there is work. People are getting money for a good life. Business is booming, Everything looks good. But there is a mysterious malady developing. People are becoming ill for no apparent reason.

To make a long story short, the environment had become polluted because of careless mining procedures. Investigation showed that selenium was being leached into the water supply, thus causing the malady. Corners were cut, regulations were ignored and questionable tactics were used in an effort to cut expenses, and to improve profits. When the coal was gone, so was the company, and the people were back in the same place they were before this all happened. Plus the environment was left a disaster.

Is it a coincidence that Grassy Mountain will also have its top blown off to get to the coal, just as Graham’s Gray Mountain did? In Alberta’s case there is the added danger that selenium (which is found in coal) could cause a similar disaster in Alberta.

The Australian company claims it will ensure that selenium is contained and will not leach into the water supply; but there is enough evidence that this is not likely to be the case. My question is, “What are we going to do about it?” It is well and good that our government will “consult” with the public, but to quote Health Minister Shandro, “Consultation does not mean veto.” To my mind, “consultation” means “we will listen, but we will do what we want to do, despite any objections.” Ho hum! Such is life in present-day Alberta. The Alberta advantage?

Eugene Balay


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John P Nightingale

If that statement is true regarding a veto, then one wonders if the whole project has been given the “green light” without regard to public input.

Southern Albertan

Some of us knew that if the Kenney UCP attained power, and with a majority, that ‘things would get really bad.’ An open pit coal mine, no matter what is said, would be a significant damaging blow to the area of the headwaters of the Oldman River basin, and our southern Alberta water source. I wouldn’t trust anything that the Kenney UCP and the Coal companies say about mining coal with a ten foot pole.
So yes, will what has turned out to be the trainwreck Kenney UCP populist authoritarian government opt for what is ultimately, best for us, or will they bow to their Big Corporate Friends?
And, with regard to coking coal to make steel, there is much info online on what the world is doing to use “future technologies for energy-efficient iron and steel making.” The Kenney UCP need to get its head out of its dinosaur gastointestinal tract and get with more progressive ways to do energy.


We could complain to our local UCP MLA’s but Kenney rarely listens to them.

Southern Albertan

Yes, and they should know better than to rubberstamp some of the skullduggery that the Kenney UCP is doing.


One must remember, how Kenney got elected. He was not an Albertan but was allowed to run in an election, whereas if I had come to Alberta the same way I could not vote. Everything is dark when it comes to politics.


Anyone want to chime in with their resistance to running a pipeline from Crowley to Castle and paving of the roadways in this “pristine wilderness”. I got mine so get lost????

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