Issue Briefs

Issue Brief: Canada's Climate Action Plan

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the federal government released its new climate action plan—A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy (PDF). The plan comes on the heels of the government's tabling of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, and of investments in climate action in the government's Fall Economic Statement.

Grassy Mountain Coal Project

The oral portion of the public hearing for Benga Mining Ltd.'s proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project in the Crowsnest Pass concluded on December 2. The next step in the federal impact assessment process is for the Joint Review Panel to draft the Impact Assessment Report, Consultation Report, and recommend potential conditions for submission to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Grassy Mountain is the first of at least six mountain-top removal coal mines proposed by large Australian mining companies in various stages of regulatory approval in the region. There are more than 50,000 ha of the Old Man River headwaters under lease for future mountain-top removal mining.

Public hearing

Federal government introduces net-zero emissions bill

On November 19, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathon Wilkinson tabled Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 in the House of Commons. The legislation, if passed, would require the federal government to set a series of 5-year interim emissions reduction targets beginning in 2030 progressing to the ultimate target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Herd of caribou in Jasper National Park declared extirpated

A herd of caribou in Jasper National Park – the Maligne herd – is now considered locally extinct. Two other caribou herds in the region may be on the same path to extirpation because they don’t have enough breeding females to grow the herds.

AEN member groups are calling for immediate action to halt the decline of caribou populations in the remaining herds.

Issue Brief: Green Stimulus & a Just Recovery

The global COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an economic downturn that has governments across Canada and around the world set to make huge investments in stimulus and recovery spending. Many are viewing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a just and sustainable green economy.

Issue Brief: Closing and delisting Alberta parks

Updated: September 21, 2020

The province is planning to close 20 parks sites and delist another 164 sites, although the timing is still uncertain. Internal government documents show there was no analysis of costs, public were excluded from consultation and land sales have been considered. Despite a government announcement of investments in Alberta parks infrastructure, the government indicated its intention to move forward with the previously-announced closures.

Latest updates

Issue Brief: Oil Sands Monitoring

Updated: September 10, 2020
The budget for the joint provincial-federal Oil Sands Monitoring Program will be reduced by around 25% this year, citing less field work due to the COVID-19 outbreak. AEN members discussed the budget reduction on a call on August 26 and are seeking clarification from the Oil Sands Monitoring Program.

Issue Brief: Vista coal mine expansion

Updated: September 3, 2020

The Coalspur Vista mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Canada, and the proposed expansion could almost triple its capacity. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined in December 2019 to order a federal impact assessment, but he reversed this decision on July 30 so the project will undergo a federal impact assessment. Coalspur Mines has launched a legal challenge to the Minister's decision.

Latest updates

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