First Time in Alberta
Opposition Parties Demand Action on Coal
For Immediate Release
Jan. 16, 2014
Edmonton—Alberta’s Opposition parties today urged the province to phase-out its coal-fired power plants — to reduce the death and illness associated with the toxic fossil fuel.
It was the first time in the province’s history that the three parties shared a stage to make this demand.
A representative of the ruling Progressive Conservatives, the Associate Minister for Renewable Energy and Electricity, the Hon. Donna Kennedy-Glans, was on hand to offer the Government’s response.
The MLAs spoke as part of a panel discussion at the University of Alberta organized by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). CAPE represents over 6,000 doctors and concerned citizens working to phase-out dirty fuels such as coal and ramp up renewable energy.
“Today’s event is crucial because it marks the first time Alberta’s Opposition parties have jointly expressed the need to get off coal,” said Dr. Joe Vipond, a Calgary emergency physician and CAPE member. “We now have the Opposition, high-profile health groups, and about 70% of Albertans all saying coal needs to go. The Government can no longer ignore the overwhelming evidence of the impacts on people’s health.”
Research published by CAPE, the Asthma Society, and the Lung Association shows coal-plant pollution contributes to over 100 deaths and over 4,000 asthma episodes in Alberta each year. Health damages associated with coal cost the province about $300 million annually.
CAPE says an Alberta coal phase-out is feasible because coal is being eliminated as a power source in Ontario. “Ontario’s coal fleet was once the same size as Alberta’s and Ontario will be completely out of coal by December, 2014,” said CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman. “If it can be done in the east, it can be done in the west, especially because Alberta has world-class wind and solar opportunities.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr. Joe Vipond, Emergency Physician, CAPE member
(403) 475-9791 (land) (403) 510-9236 (cell)
Gideon Forman, Executive Director, CAPE