At its twenty-first session, the Committee had expressed its serious concerns over the potential threats posed by the Cheviot Mine Project, designed to exploit a large, open-pit coal mine, located 2.8 km from the Jasper National Park portion of this site. The Bureau noted that Parks Canada, informed the Centre of a Federal Court of Canada hearing from 1 to 3 March 1999 on this case that had rendered its decision on 8 April 1999. The Federal Court quashed the Federal Fisheries Act authorisation of August 1998 to allow work to start on the access road and railway and concluded that the environmental assessment did not comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (LCEE). Furthermore, the Federal Court stated that the Project could not proceed until the Joint Review Panel’s environmental assessment is conducted in compliance with the LCEE. The proponent of the Cheviot Mine Project, Lusar Coal Ltd, announced, on 10 March 1999, that it was delaying decisions on the construction of the mine for at least a year. Progress has been made with regard to preparing an Integrated Framework for the Conservation of Grizzly Bears. A document incorporating results of the consultations undertaken with regard to the preparation of the Framework is to be sent to stakeholder groups in May 1999. IUCN welcomed the decision that the proposed mine has been put on hold for at least one year.
The Bureau welcomed these developments and thanked the State Party for the actions taken and for regularly providing information on the proposed mine. The Bureau commended the members of the environmental coalition for their efforts in promoting the protection of the site.