No To Teck Frontier Mine

Reference Number

My concerns on the proposed Fronteir Mine are as follows:

However laudable or cutting edge Teck's proposed reclamation plan may be, it is not guaranteed to work. Seedlings will not consume carbon at the same rate as adult trees and like young everywhere they are more vulnerable to disease, heat, cold, heavy rain, hail and fire. Soil microbes do not always recover from disturbance or pH changes. Mature forest is full of balanced equilibriums involving mammals, birds, vascular plants, mosses and lichens, bacteria, fungi, insects, water, and soil. These take many generations to establish and given the climate is already changing, it may not be possible to do so. Teck's data as posted on their webpage Biodiversity and Reclamation shows an annual and overall trend of more land being disturbed or re-disturbed than reclaimed between 2015 and 2018, suggesting even their proactive methods are not very effective.

A government that has pledged to get Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050 cannot do so if it is growing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. Again, Teck's proposal to reclaim as they go will not adequately balance carbon released by the killing of mature trees, the extraction and processing of bitumen, or the use of herbicides and fertilizer that may do more harm than good to the ecosystem Teck intends to re-establish. We already have a perfectly good carbon sequestering system in Alberta's boreal forest: continuing to dismantle it for economic gain makes no sense.

Teck has acknowledged in recent weeks it may not go through with the Frontier mine even if approved, citing among other factors fluctuating oil prices. While I sympathize with those who would benefit financially from the mine, all of us need clean air and water more than we need money. The world recognises this and oil is no longer the commodity it was. It would be better for the federal and provincial governments, and Teck itself, to invest in agriculture, tourism, healthcare, education and research and development into better methods of capturing free energy (ie biogas, solar, wind). If at the end of all this we find we still need oil as feedstock for plastic or as fuel, the deposits will still be there.

We have known we are in a climate crisis for a long time. Approving new oil and gas development should be a last resort, not business as usual.

Submitted by
Aislinn MacCulloch
Environmental Assessment Decision
Public Notice
Date Submitted
2020-02-08 - 10:52 PM
Date modified: