The Narwhal: How a public uprising caused a province built on fossil fuels to reverse course on coal mining. Country music stars, conservationists and tens of thousands of Albertans came together to roll back plans for mountaintop-removal mining in the Rockies.
Last May — on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend — Alberta’s United Conservative Party government quietly announced it was rescinding a policy that dated back to 1976.
The coal policy, it said, was “no longer required.” The government did not anticipate how the quiet rescission of a decades-old policy could ignite the passion of Albertans.
What followed was a months-long backlash from Albertans of all political stripes and walks of life, from country music stars to conservation enthusiasts to downstream First Nations communities to ranchers.