Judge orders Alberta to produce massive trove of coal documents after four-year fight

By The Canadian Press

A judge is ordering the Alberta government to produce a massive trove of documents concerning its efforts to encourage coal mining in the province’s Rocky Mountains.

The ruling comes in response to an attempt by the United Conservative government to block the release of the documents to a group of southern Alberta ranchers.

In his decision, the judge sharply criticizes the government’s secrecy, saying its approach makes the public’s right to information on important decisions “largely illusory.”

It says the government took a casual approach to the request and tried to use delay tactics to stymie the documents’ release.

Laura Laing, one of the ranchers involved in the four-year fight, says she and her colleagues want to understand how the government suddenly chose to revoke a policy in 2020 that had protected the Rockies from open-pit coal mines for decades.

Alberta Energy did not immediately provide comment on the decision.

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