In Search of Greener Grass: Former NDP Leader Resigns From Politics, Joins Board of Coal Mining Company

Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side, after all. British Columbia’s former NDP premier John Horgan has joined the board of directors of coal mining company Elk Valley Resources, and he doesn’t care what his critics think!

Horgan served as premier of BC from 2017 to 2022, and during his tenure, he worked to balance the province’s environmental and economic concerns, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting resource development projects. He was also a vocal supporter of increasing federal healthcare funding for provinces.

Meanwhile, Elk Valley Resources is a Canadian-based mining company that focuses on developing and producing metallurgical coal that is then used in the steelmaking process. The company’s primary assets are four steelmaking coal operations located in the Elk Valley in southeast BC. The project produced about 21.5 million tonnes of coal last year, generating revenues of $104 billion.

Horgan’s appointment to the board has been met with criticism from environmental groups and some members of the public who feel that it is a conflict of interest. However, Horgan has defended his decision, insisting there’s a difference between coal used to generate electricity and coal used for metallurgy because there are alternatives for creating energy but not for steel production.

“I’ve got other things that I am going to be working on that may be more to the taste of those who would kick up some dust, but the people that are kicking up dust, oftentimes, kick it up for the sake of kicking it up,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “I don’t have a lot of time any more, none in fact, for public comment on my world view, or what I am doing with my time. I don’t want to be snippy about it, but there are others that are making policy decisions.”

Horgan’s move to the private sector is not unusual for former politicians. Many former elected officials join the private sector or become lobbyists after leaving office. However, the optics of his appointment to a coal mining company’s board have raised questions about his commitment to the environment, given his previous statements in support of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

Information for this briefing was found via The Globe and Mail and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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