October 20th, 2020

Albertans need their parks to enjoy nature and destress


By Letter to the Editor on March 16, 2020.

I am appalled to learn that the Government of Alberta is planning to close, sell or hand over to public enterprises many of Alberta’s provincial parks, especially at a time when there is so much stress in the community caused by the government’s budget, the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the need to increase revenue from tourism. What is the UCP thinking?

1) There has never been a greater need to provide the citizens of Alberta the opportunities to enjoy nature and to destress. It is a proven fact that access to nature provides great health benefits.

2) The parks belong to the citizens of Alberta. They are not to be sold!

3) One of the parks slated for closure, sale or “rent” is Park Lake. This park is heavily used and is the only closely accessible venue for a swim, boating or barbecue to the 100,000 citizens of Lethbridge and surrounding communities. In the summer, it is difficult even to find a parking space there. How can it be concluded that it is “underutilized”?

4) Once these parks are sold or “rented” it is inevitable that there will be entrance fees. Does the UCP think it reasonable that Albertans will need to pay to go for a swim, have a picnic or enjoy nature?

5) With the UCP’s panic to balance the budget, it is doing irreparable damage to the province and its citizens. Once a park is sold, it will become a commercial enterprise.

6) What message is the government sending to the world. “We’re not going to Alberta this year because I hear that they are closing their parks!”

UCP, don’t give me “the parks are costing us more than the revue they generate” BS. It is the government’s responsibility to provide recreational facilities to its citizens and to protect natural habitats in perpetuity. The government has a revenue problem, not a spending problem!

Mark Goettel

Lethbridge

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John P Nightingale

Once again and to repeat, yes parks are a recreational source but they in do (in my opinion) serve a more important role protecting wildlife and fauna’s health and continuity.
Now I hear Alberta is planning strychnine poisoning * as a way of keeping wolf populations at bay. This in order to protect endangered caribou. The fact that decimation of their historical areas is the main reason for their demise is simply lost on this government. That Jason Nixon , the environment and parks minister has both of these matters under his wing speaks volumes of his understanding and priorities.

* According to the Globe and Mail last week.

johnny57

Oh you forgot to add FC that Klein did balance the books! Just a small oversite on your part right FC?

biff

thank you for a well stated letter on a matter that requires serious reconsideration by the ucp.
j57 – your entry is significant in that there are so many that agree with it…and significant given how ridiculous is that absolute lack of understanding.
the books were “balanced” due to 2 primary factors. 1) demand for alberta oil was an all-time high; nothing to do with klein; but klein allowed oil to be sucked away with very little coming from those vampires except jobs; taxation from jobs gave the govt extra money, which was further squandered via lax royalties, woeful taxation taken in from those companies, the further giving away of public money to those companies via spurious handouts, an utter lack of holding those companies accountable for environmental costs that remain a very expensive and unhealthy legacy for albertans, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars that we will pay for, not the overprivileged thieves. consequently, what we got was hardly a balancing of books…just a sleight of hand scam. 2) klein oversaw the woeful neglect of infrastructure and collective needs; hence the highway system that, by and large, still reflects how things looked in the 1950s, and highways that are dangerous that should have been remedies long ago. he also undermined and shorted social services, health care, education. he blew our hollywood roll, just like many of the rig workers blew their rolls.
how you and others, j57, fail to acknowledge this reality is astounding. the ignorance and stupidity is unacceptable in a day and age where information about the klein era is easily accessed, save for the stuff his govt shredded to protect itself from further public – and legal – scrutiny. there is no way even a halfway honest and intelligent person can maintain that klein managed our economy decently; he did an even worse job with the environment.
thank you fed up – you encapsulate the mess very well indeed.
thank you jpn – on the money!