Opposition calling on Alberta government to release coal reports

Click to play video: 'NDP calling on UCP government to release coal reports'
NDP calling on UCP government to release coal reports
WATCH ABOVE: The NDP is calling on the UCP government to release the reports submitted by an independent coal policy group last month. As Erik Bay reports, opposition MLAs say Albertans need to know they’re being heard. – Jan 28, 2022

It’s been roughly four weeks since Energy Minister Sonya Savage received two reports from an independent coal policy committee, one summarizing feedback and the other providing recommendations on coal mining in Alberta.

Now the Opposition is demanding that information be made public.

“We haven’t heard the premier commit to releasing the report at all,” Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips said. “We haven’t heard him say, ‘Yes, we have heard Albertans.'”

The call comes after High River mayor Craig Snodgrass revealed comments Premier Jason Kenney made to him in a meeting between the two that was also attended by Savage and local MLA Roger Reid.

According to Snodgrass, Kenney said he is “an unapologetic supporter of the coal industry.”

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“There’s no question that he’s still 100 per cent in with supporting the coal mining companies and that’s just fine,” Snodgrass said. “That’s his right, if that’s where he wants to be.

“What we have is only private statements — a month after the deadline for that coal report — from the premier, and those private statements are not encouraging,” Phillips said.

Justin Brattinga, a spokesperson for the premier’s office, provided a statement to Global News saying the reports will be disclosed.

“The Alberta government is taking time to review the coal policy committee’s reports and is planning to release the reports once a thorough review of the findings has been completed,” the statement reads.

“The reports are detailed and reflect the committee’s diligent efforts to engage with Albertans and Indigenous peoples. We will also provide our response to the committee’s recommendations when the reports are released.”

No possible date was given as to when the reports could be made public.

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When asked by Global News for an update on the timeline for the reports’ disclosure, the energy minister’s office provided the same statement.

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