Draft Land-use Framework from the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development is welcome and shows more sincerity than two previous attempts by this government. It has been known widely in Alberta that the existing system of allowing all manner of activities, especially in our vulnerable eastern slopes, is a recipe for disaster. Finally we have a plan that says it will establish the priority of water protection and recreation/tourism for the eastern slopes.
Does that mean we will stop clear-cut logging and mining and oil and gas there? Not likely, but perhaps there will be real legislation (rather than a Minister’s arbitray decision) to severely restrict these activities, once the framework has been adopted by government. That could take 3-5 years! Unfortunately the Minister has indicated he’s not willing to use the good principles developed in the Draft Framework (including cumulative impact assessment before approving new projects) in the meantime. Much irreversible damage may be done over five years at the pace we are going in Alberta – particularly in the tarsands areas.
We live in hope and I encourage all interested in this vital land-use plan to review it on the SRD website and comment – copying it to me as the critic for SRD.
Let’s get this right. We have no time to lose!
Calgary Herald Article: Land Use Plan Needed Now: Critics