Second Alberta town asks for coal consultations, pause on exploration

Town councillors for Turner Valley have joined High River in asking the Kenney government to stop coal exploration in the Rocky Mountains and hold community consultations on the controversial policy shift.

A second southern Alberta town is asking the provincial government to order a stop to coal exploration work until public consultations on the issue can be held.

The town council of Turner Valley approved last night a letter making the request to several United Conservative government ministers.

The town of High River approved a similar letter on Monday.

The town of Canmore, about 100 kilometres west of Calgary, has also passed a resolution asking the province to restore environmental protections to land now being explored for open-pit coal mines.

At least seven communities in southern Alberta have expressed concerns about the government's plans to dramatically expand the industry.

Those communities run from a large city to hamlets of a few hundred people.

Coal opponents fear contamination of river headwaters as well as the destruction of one of the province's most treasured landscapes.

The issue arose after the government revoked a policy last spring without warning that had protected those landscapes for more than 40 years.

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