Vote for Nature

Alberta Election 2023

What You Need to Know

The writ has dropped and the date is set! We're heading to the polls on May 29, 2023, folks.

And while elections and governments may be cyclical, our commitment to the lands and waters of Alberta, and their conservation, remains constant.  

We know there are no shortage of issues at play when you decide how to vote, and that the environment is just one of them. But there’s tremendous value in understanding the context of environmental issues in our province, and how they intersect with priorities for health, affordability and strong, sustainable communities.  

Over the next two months, we encourage you to learn more about the current environmental and conservation concerns and opportunities in Alberta, because they impact all Albertans – regardless of their political affiliation.  

Your vote matters. It can shape whether these issues will be prioritized and, consequently, the future of our parks, protected areas, public lands and the critters that inhabit them. While we are a non-partisan organization, we remain steadfastly committed to ensuring that our wild spaces and species thrive — and we therefore urge you to vote for nature in our upcoming election. 

As you decide what that means for you, and investigate each candidate's platform, here are some key considerations to take into account. Don't forget to register to vote! Also, learn more about all the details you need to take care of before you cast your ballot and review our handy candidate question guide below.


What's at Stake in Alberta


How will can we manage our public lands be managed more sustainably? 
Alberta is blessed with
an abundance of beautiful landscapes, from the grasslands and prairies of the south to the boreal forests in the north. Given the diverse range of ecosystems and land uses across our province, however, it is not enough to create and manage protected areas alone.  

Effective regional planning is essential across all of our landscapes in order to ensure that the health of our communities and our headwaters, as well as wildlife habitat and connectivity, are maintained – and ideally improved – now and into the future.  

Without the proper management of public land, industrial activities including oil and gas exploration and development, forestry, and even recreation can threaten the health of critical ecosystems. 

Platforms that include support for addressing incomplete and inadequate land-use plans in Alberta – which hinder successful management of industry and recreation – are a strong step in the right direction.  

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Land | Parks and Protected Areas

How will the support Albertans have shown for increased protected areas be applied to decision-making?

Albertan’s love their parks – it's no secret. From Lesser Slave Lake to Kananaskis and beyond, our incomparable parks and protected areas are both the places we go to play, as well as invaluable habitat for iconic wildlife, like grizzly bear and caribou.  

With campaigns like Defend Alberta Parks, we’ve proven our willingness to act on behalf of them – unfortunately, and despite the majority of Albertans showing support for increasing protected areas, the current network provides limited protection of for biodiversity. 

By striving to contribute to Canada’s international commitments to protect 30% of land and water by 2030, and supporting much-needed conservation tools like Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), Alberta can lead the charge in the conservation of our public lands. 

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How will Alberta's water be managed to ensure the health of species-at-risk, like native trout, and the cleanliness and sustainability of our drinking water?

Alberta's beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and watersheds may seem untouched and plentiful; but, in reality, they are increasingly at risk thanks to overuse, pollution from industrial activities like coal mining, and certain unsustainable agricultural practices.

Proper regulations, like those for coal mine effluent, ensure that Albertans can drink, swim, fish and enjoy our waters for generations to come!

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Water | Coal Mining and Effluent

Will the threat of coal mining continue in our Eastern Slopes? If so, how will the impacts be addressed?

Coal mining — and its associated pollutants, such as selenium, nitrate, and arsenic — pose a serious threat to water quality, the well-being of important ecosystems, and the climate. Current legislation relies heavily on Alberta’s outdated coal policy from 1976; is driven by industry feasibility, as opposed to ecosystem and human health standards; and ignores the support Albertans have shown for updated regulations based on scientific data. Moreover, the massive exploration footprint from the rescission of the coal policy has still not been remediated.

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How will species at risk receive the attention they need to in order to be thrive? 

Our province is home to a rich diversity of species, all of which are worth celebrating and protecting. When our ecosystems are healthy, functioning and resilient, wildlife thrive – and so do we!  

Through large landscape protection and connection, cumulative impacts assessment and proper land-use planning, we can work towards reversing the habitat loss and fragmentation that have resulted in over 90 species of wildlife in Alberta being listed under the Species at Risk Act.  

These include: woodland caribou, bison, swift fox, burrowing owl, Westslope cutthroat, Bull trout, and Athabasca rainbow trout.  

But there are solutions! With policies that focus on habitat restoration and reclamation, responsible land managementincluding of activities like industrial resource extraction and recreation – as well as increased protected areas and research funding, we can make a world of difference for Alberta’s wildlife.  

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Toolkit for Effective Action

Not sure how to get started with a letter to your current or prospective MLA? What do you say when you make a phone call to your elected officials or a candidate running in this election? We've put together a toolkit to help get you started and help you feel confident while talking about environmental issues that are important to you!