Do Your Opinions Matter to Government?

Do you feel listened to? Are your phone calls, emails, and letters to the UCP government Ministers or your MLA getting a reasonably relevant response?  Do you feel you are getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in UCP government announcements?

Do you trust the Integrity, Honesty, and Openness of the UCP Government after two years of experience?  Do you feel listened to?

The UCP government stated the obvious recently when the Minister of Energy held a news conference announcing a partial backtrack on coal policy.  Not surprising, there was some serious misinformation and perhaps even some intentional disinformation in the announcement.

The reinstatement of the 1976 Coal Policy is a welcome announcement but it does not do what Albertans were asking for nor expecting from the UCP government “reversal” of policy.  The current projects being explored “Category 2 lands” will continue.  There was no explanation of what a Category 2 land protected or included.  Misinformation!

Putting the policy back was stated, in the news conference, to “not preclude any other coal mining exploration on any other categories of land.”  

So what caused the uproar was not addressed but a future public consultation on a “new coal policy“ was promised but there were no details provided on timing, process, scope, purpose.  They committed that “a modern coal policy…will not jeopardize mountains, headwaters, foothills, parks and recreation areas we cherish.”

The consultation will be “in the weeks ahead, vigorous, lengthy and hear the input from all Albertans on all views related to coal…it will take time and be very very open and we will listen.” 

They admitted, “…they should have done better and did not get this right and we are not perfect.”  Do you expect to be listened to in an open, thorough, respectful, and effective process?  So many examples of prior UCP “consultations” have been shams.  Do not take them at their word but make sure they do have a transparent, accountable, open, honest consultation conducted and reported on with integrity. 

Time for Citizens to Stand Up, Show Up, Speak Up and Act Up.  This will not be easy for vulnerable Albertans who are dependent on provincial supports for their safety, security, sustainability, and dignity.  So it’s up to the rest of us have to be sure to get Effectively Engaged as Citizens.  This “Modern Coal Policy Consultation” is a chance to Press for Positive Change.

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