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A list of 41 Nobel Prize winners have signed a petition urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop the Teck Frontier mine in Alberta.
The petition, published in an open letter via The Guardian, is signed by Peace Prize winners, made up of 10 winners in chemistry, three in literature, 12 in medicine, nine Peace Prize winners, and seven physicists.
The letter argues that the enabling of the fossil fuel industry’s growth is “an affront to our state of climate emergency,” going so far as to call it a “disgrace” that Canada is even “considering them.”
“The response to the climate crisis will define and destroy legacies in the coming years, and the qualifications for being on the right side of history are clear: an immediate end to fossil-fuel financing and expansion along with an ambitious and just transition away from oil and gas production towards zero-carbon well before mid-century,” the letter argues.
When asked about whether or not the Teck Mine Project would come to fruition, the PM told reporters that his government was deciding whether or not the mine would be in the nation’s best interest.
The mine is set to bring in roughly 7,000 workers during construction, as well as 2,500 full-time workers upon its completion.
Additionally, Finance Minister Bill Morneau revealed that a potential aid package was in the works if the Trudeau government were to decide against the mine.
“I would never think to characterize this as anything other than creating opportunities… Alberta is a province where we have great entrepreneurs who have built a strong economy and I think what we need to do is address the economy as challenged right now and create a path forward that will have hope for this generation and the next generation. I look at it very differently,” said Morneau on CBC’s Power & Politics.
The mine’s potential construction has caused somewhat of a schism within the Liberal Party, as environmentally-minded MPs rally against the project.
“There will be a big fight inside cabinet over this,” said the source familiar with the difficult situation to Reuters.
The mayors for both Edmonton and Calgary made their ways to Ottawa recently, calling for the mines to be built. Alberta premier Jason Kenney also backed the mine, citing the job creation and the project’s backing by Indigenous communities. Kenney stated that there was no reason to reject the mine, as there had been ten years of reviews to green-light the project.