Corruption of Parks’ mandate

Thursday, Sep 08, 2016 06:00 am

Editor: Kudos to Marion Rogers for her powerful and moving statement on the value of the Bow Valley wolf pack and their demise under the tourist onslaught.

The problem, however, lies not only with naïve and uninformed tourists, but also with the inexplicable Banff Park mandate to increase visitation annually. This preposterous notion was publicly announced in the press and on the radio with no rationale or explanation. It may be that corporatists are now in charge of Parks Canada.

In short, marketplace ideology has now replaced ecological integrity in the Parks Canada mission. Hence, we have the ridiculous Brewster Skywalk, the expansion of the Lake Louise Ski Hill into grizzly bear habitat, the corruption of Maligne Lake with tourist accommodation, the crush of cars and people at Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, serious traffic congestion in Banff, and so on and so on.

The visitor experience is rapidly being replaced with the numbers game, with mounting disappointment and annoyance by locals and visitors alike. This has become a constant topic of conversation among friends and strangers in Canmore. Parks administration has clearly lost control of its performance measures, and have absolutely no right to subject one of Canada’s premier public parks to the dictates of hyper-capitalism and unbridled tourism development.

Who is behind this corruption of Park Canada’s mandate? Who, in fact, is accountable for this short-sighted and demeaning vision of a collective resource?

I suggest that the bosses of Parks Canada host a Bow Valley town hall meeting to help determine a brighter and more intelligent future for this irreplaceable part of the world. They clearly need help.

Robert R. Janes,