Issue Briefs

Issue Brief: Federal government proposes changes to Impact Assessment Act

As part of the legislation to implement the 2024 Budget, the federal government has proposed changes to the Impact Assessment Act. The changes follow last October's Supreme Court ruling that deemed parts of the Impact Assessment Act unconstitutional. Under the proposed changes, trans-boundary greenhouse gas emissions from proposed major industrial projects will no longer trigger federal environmental reviews. Legal experts and environmental organizations raised concerns that the federal government was abandoning its role in regulating GHG emissions. Read More

Alberta government announces new restrictions on renewable energy development (Updated)

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Latest Updates | March 5, 2024 Updates

On February 28, 2024, following a 7-month "pause" on the approval of new renewable energy projects in the province, the Government of Alberta (GoA) announced their plans for future renewables development, and issued a letter to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) advising them of the policy, legislative and regulatory changes that they intend to advance regarding the development of renewable energy projects. What follows is a compilation of news coverage, opinion and analysis, and responses to the government's announcement from AEN members, and other environmental advocacy organizations.

Latest Updates

On March 15, 2024, the Government of Alberta sent a draft map to industry members, providing additional clarity on the areas where renewable energy development will be restricted. The map was less restrictive than some had feared, but questions remain.

Earlier, the Alberta Utilities Commission released the first of two reports resulting from its inquiry into the renewable energy industry in Alberta. The report concluded that compared to other forms of industrial development, renewables power projects pose little threat of agricultural land loss, and have "well-understood and relatively contained reclamation risks."

Issue Brief: Imperial Oil tailings leaks

February 15 Updates | March 11 Updates | March 13 Updates | April 11 Updates | Resources: Learn, Take Action, & Amplify

Latest Updates

Hearings on the Kearl spill before the House of Commons environment and sustainable development committee started with Indigenous communities testifying on April 17 followed by executives from Imperial Oil on April 20.

In the midst of the testimony before the environment and sustainable development committee, it was announced that there had been a release of water from Suncor's Fort Hills oil sands site.

Resources

Learn more about oil sands tailings, take action, and amplify the concerns around the Imperial Oil Kearl Project leaks.

Issue Brief: Alberta Court of Appeal finds Impact Assessment Act unconstitutional

On May 10, 2022, in a 4-1 decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal issued its opinion that the federal Impact Assessment Act is unconstitutional. The constitutional challenge was launched by the Province of Alberta after the Act became law in 2019. In response, the federal government swiftly announced its intention to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Decisions issued in constitutional references such as this, are considered non-binding, so the Impact Assessment Act remains in force.

A number of legal experts have expressed the opinion that the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act would be upheld by the Supreme Court. Read More

Coal Mining in Alberta's Eastern Slopes and Beyond

Take Action on Coal  |  Information & Resources  |  Updates & News 

Updated March 15, 2022

Latest Update: Government announces expanded coal restrictions, releases Coal Policy Committee reports

On March 4, 2022, the Government of Alberta announced restrictions on coal development in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. The restrictions on new development will be in place until directions on coal activities are incorporated into updated regional land-use plans.

The Goverment also released the final reports of the Coal Policy Committee. Concerns with the environmental impacts of coal mining ranked among the most important issues to Albertans.

Environmental groups welcomed the restrictions on new development, but concerns remained over the impacts of existing coal mining activities and the 4 advanced projects that were allowed to continue the regulatory process.

  Read More

Alberta Beyond Coal: What to Expect in 2022

Despite the reinstatement of Alberta’s 1976 Coal Policy in 2021, eight coal mining projects continued to move ahead with exploration. Coal development was not only still an option in Alberta, it was still happening.

Protect our Water - Alberta Beyond Coal was started to fight well-resourced coal companies and their billionaire owners. Through education, outreach and a strategic lawn sign campaign, the Alberta Environmental Network organized a collaborative effort to pause coal development in Alberta.  Read More

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