Photo Credit: Kevin Turner.  "Grassy Mountain, South Flank - August 13, 2015"

Photo Credit: Kevin Turner.  "Grassy Mountain, South Flank - August 13, 2015"

EDITOR'S NOTE: The OWC is proud to feature Guest Posts from all community members and does not endorse any one particular political party. 
by Romy S. Tittel

I was invited by a number of concerned landowners to come out and see Grassy Mountain. This mountain is the proposed site of the Benga Mining/Riversdale Resources open-pit coal mine north of Blairmore.

I had already been made aware of this project when I had a booth in the Coleman Lifestyle Show back in April of this year. Our booth happened to be situated directly across from the Riversdale Resource booth. Their booth hosted a number of large pictures of alpine meadows and blue skies all very idyllic except for the part of removing a mountain to get to the coal seam.

This mine had already been worked back in the 1950’s and had since been abandoned, the scars still evident these many decades later. The group of landowners took me for a tour of their properties at the foot of this mountain. Then they showed me Gold stream, part of the watershed that formed part of the habitat for an endangered westslope Cutthroat trout species, native to this part of southern Alberta. I had just posted a couple of articles announcing the closure of many fishing spots in the area due to low water levels and the heat stressing the fish.

I had already posted an article detailing the United Church of Canada’s decision to divest from fossil fuels. This mirrored the decisions of many major institution over this past year, all coming to the same conclusion; the tide has turned on these forms of energy. The future lies in renewable resources and taking firm action on mitigating climate change by taking real steps towards lowering our carbon emissions.

This week also had me enjoying the company of two musicians, Ceslo Machado and William Beauvais, who had come to teach and perform at this year’s Mount Royal University’s Guitarfest West. It was at Ceslo’s performance that I had the chance to talk with one of the attendees, Jason Donev, about entering politics. It turn out he is a senior instructor at the University of Calgary and he and his students are writing an energy encyclopedia to help us navigate our way to the new energy future.

I also had confirmation this week that my name was going to be on the ballot in the upcoming Federal Election. It is issues such as this coal mine that have me excited to be part of the new parliament. We Canadians are standing at a crossroads with not only our energy future but our country’s future and our beautiful Earth’s future. Let us all stand together and bravely and confidently take the first steps towards our future.

Romy S. Tittel
Green Party Candidate/CEO Foothills EDA

Twitter: @romytittel