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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Stier: Castle parks consultation timeline increase not enough

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier, Wildrose leader Brian Jean, and Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don Macintyre at Feb. 11 Lethbridge rally in support of recreational off-highway vehicle access to Castle parks

Wildrose Party - Today, Wildrose Livingstone-MacLeod MLA Pat Stier released the following statement about the NDP government expanding the timeline for public feedback on major changes to the Castle region by 30 days instead of the 60 days Wildrose had asked for:

“While it’s nice to see the NDP government recognize its mistake in trying to bulldoze these changes through on southern Alberta - this latest announcement doesn’t go nearly far enough.

“Even with 30 more days, the timeline for concerned Albertans to provide their feedback is far too short for adequate consultation to be done.

“A 120-day period for public feedback is the bare minimum length required for legitimate public consultation on this. Also, any expanded timeframe must be accompanied by a series of public town halls, so the people can truly be heard.

“I’m also disappointed by the lack of details in today’s announcement around future stakeholder meetings and any potential relocation plans for Off-Highway Vehicle users in the region.

“There is no harm in the NDP government taking the time to get this right.”

2 comments:

  1. Phil Burpee2/3/17

    Three certainties in life - death, taxes, and the Wildrose plunking itself down, yet again, on the wrong side of history. You almost have to admire the sheer tenacity of an organization that persistently refuses to recognize which century it lives in. ("Well, darn - my great, great grand-daddy was ridin' his quad in them there hills back in the time of the buffalo. Nothin' wrong with a few thousand internal-combustion motors grindin' around in the back country.") It's just as well Wildrose is only fussing around in their little sandbox flicking cat-poos and having noisy tantrums - if they actually had control of anything other than their own fever dreams things would go off the rails pretty quick. I hear the ghost of King Ralph wailing in the shadows here with that familiar old landscape planning mantra - anything, anytime, anywhere. Go, team, go - another TD in your own endzone.

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  2. Gordon Peterson5/3/17

    While it won’t hurt to add an additional 30 days to the Castle Draft Management Plan comment period, one really has to ask how much consultation is enough? The government was already considering making the Castle a Park in 1974 when it put the area under a Consultative Notation (CNT). Since then, there have been numerous consultative processes. In 1993 the NRCB recommended that much of the Castle be given national-park-like protection. Other consultations include Special Places 2000, the Screwdriver Creek EUB hearing, the 2001 Updated IRP, the SSRP, and the public input after the Castle Parks were announced in September 2015. All of these consultations came to the same basic conclusion: The Castle is a unique and important area that needs and deserves effective protection. The difference this time around is that this government is willing to make the hard choices, and to start to clean up the mess caused by 40 years of “kicking the can down the road". It’s also important to note that “consultation” does not simply mean horse-trading among competing interests to arrive at the lowest common denominator. It’s entirely possible to be completely consulted (as I’d argue OHV users have been) but still not get what you want. The government is to be commended for getting on with the job.

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