City Council is discussing two important issues on Monday, February 1:
1. Whether to support communities fighting mountaintop coal removal in the eastern slopes, potentially allowing toxic selenium into the watershed; and,
2. Whether to hold a plebiscite on lowering the speed limit to 40 km/hr from 50 km/hr.
You can take action by writing your councillor, calling or tweeting to let them know what you think.
1. Coal mining on the eastern slopes of the Rockies
The town of High River has asked Calgary to support it in the fight against the provincial government's decision to rescind the 1976 coal policy. The government wants to allow new open pit coal mining in sensitive areas of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This has the potential to affect High River's water supply with mining near the Highwood River. Calgary is not directly affected yet, but we do have an interest: the Elbow River would be affected by a number of leases in Kananaskis and south, and it and the Bow River are part of the South Saskatchewan River Basin. Learn more here and here.
Why does the Hub care? A healthy water supply is essential to a resilient community. Coal mining in sensitive areas threatens habitat and biodiversity in the larger Calgary area. Using coal to make steel contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. And the Hub's own Eco-Elders for Climate Action made a presentation to the hearing on the Grassy Mountain Coal Project in October.
2. Plebiscite on residential speed limits
Last November, city council considered whether they should lower the speed limit on most residential streets from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr. Instead, they asked city administration to recommend whether the issue should be sent to voters to decide. Administration recommends that council reject having a plebiscite. Learn more here.
Why does the Hub care? A lower speed limit increases the chances that pedestrians will survive a collision with an automobile. The Hub advocates for low-carbon active transportation such as walking and cycling. A lower speed limit will save lives and help reduce emissions. Council should join other jurisdictions and decide that improved safety is worth acting on now.
What you can do:
Write to your city councillor, or tweet on Monday using the hashtags #yyccc and #yycclimate.
Writing to City Council
The most effective letter is one in your own words, but here is one example:
Subject: Say yes to supporting High River's fight against coal mining, and no to a plebiscite on speed limits
Dear Councillor [name]
I’ve lived in Calgary for [number] years, and I love my community, but I’m worried about our future. We need to act on climate change before it’s too late.
I am writing to you to ask that you take action on two items on Monday:
- Support the Town of High River's request that the province halt mining in sensitive areas of the eastern slopes of the Rockies. This mining threatens habitat, biodiversity, and water quality. As part of the South Saskatchewan River Basin, Calgary has an interest in protecting the health of this watershed.
- Accept administration's recommendation to not hold a plebiscite on residential speed limits. Instead, council should act now to lower speed limits, saving lives and reducing emissions by encouraging active transportation.
If you prefer to contact your councillor directly, here is a list of their contact information:
Mayor: [email protected]
Ward 1: [email protected]
Ward 2: [email protected]
Ward 3: [email protected]
Ward 4: [email protected]
Ward 5: [email protected]
Ward 6: [email protected]
Ward 7: [email protected]
Ward 8: [email protected]
Ward 9: [email protected]
Ward 10: [email protected]
Ward 11: [email protected]
Ward 12: [email protected]
Ward 13: [email protected]
Ward 14: [email protected]
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