There was a time in this fair land when water ran free, clear and pure. Times have changed. Our water is under siege and, it has to be stopped.
Over the past number of weeks the news feed has been busy with the business of coal. Coal could be mined from the very areas that many municipalities get their water. There is a very poisonous element that seeps from mining that can contaminate the water ways, flora and fauna. If this selenium is in too much of a quantity, it is dangerous.
Many neighbouring municipalities have passed a resolution that the provincial government ‘immediately roll back the decision to rescind the 1976 Coal Policy.’ So far, seven municipalities have sent similar resolutions to the province and more or in debate.
The areas under threat for open pit mining are along the foothills. In one area, which will be very familiar to Red Deer residents, is Bighorn Country; a wonderful scenic area, popular for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking…. Is this what we want for our Alberta foothills and Rockies? I believe not.
We need and must say how we feel about the areas under destruction by foreign companies. These areas belong to all Albertans. There has been no consultation to ranchers, landowners, the general public and municipalities about this move from the province – a habit they seem to continue to foster in many areas.
Some may well argue that we should just be concerned with our own municipality. This is very short sighted. Water has no boundary. Our love of the foothills and Rockies has no boundary. Taking a stand on this may certainly not please the provincial government but a stand we must take for our neighbours, ourselves and for the future.
Therefore, I respectfully request that Red Deer city council join with our neighbouring municipalities in taking a stand to protect Alberta’s Foothills and Mountains with the resolution: ‘to roll back the decision to rescind the Coal Policy of 1976’ during Premier Lougheed’s tenure. Leadership is needed now or, irrevocable damage will be ours to own.
Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer, Red Deer