Judge ordered Alberta to reveal a large trove of coal papers After a Four-Year dispute

Edmonton — A judge has ordered the Alberta government to reveal a large trove of papers related to its efforts to promote coal mining in the province’s Rocky Mountains.

The verdict came in reaction to the United Conservative government’s attempt to prevent the papers from being released to a group of ranchers in southern Alberta.

In his conclusion, the court severely criticizes the government’s secrecy, saying that its approach renders the public’s right to knowledge on critical choices “largely illusory.”

“The requesting parties have been practically denied access to the information they are entitled to at law and this court will not abet this conduct through the availability of judicial review,” he wrote in a judgment released Friday.

The decision concerns an attempt by a group of southern Alberta ranchers to determine why the United Conservative Party government opted in 2020 to reverse a decades-old policy that had barred open-pit coal extraction in the treasured landscapes of the southern foothills and Rockies. 

In 2020, the group requested briefing documents, internal memos, evaluations, reports, and communications from Alberta Energy.

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