Forests and Climate Change

Groups ramp up parks campaign as Minister puts off controversial Bill 29

CALGARY -- “More parks now, not Bill 29” is the updated rallying cry of lead groups, such as Sierra Club Canada, in the public campaign that last November successfully got the Stelmach government to stall passage of the Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation’s (TPR) controversial new parks legislation. 

Bill 29 (the Alberta Parks Act) is designed to replace Alberta’s existing parks network and its overarching laws. Late this past Friday (4:54 pm), Minister Cindy Ady emailed an update announcing she won’t be bringing Bill 29 back to the spring sitting of the Legislature. 

In November, within a few of weeks of its introduction in the Legislature, the Stelmach government received more than 2000 personal letters opposing Bill 29 - this despite no one in the public receiving advanced notice or having seen a draft of Bill 29.... Read more »

Broadcaster Chosen as new Environment Minister

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has bolstered his cabinet presence from Toronto — where he hopes to make a breakthrough in the next election — by promoting Peter Kent to the environment portfolio and bringing Julian Fantino into the inner circle as a junior minister responsible for seniors.

But within minutes of the minor shuffle Tuesday which featured the two Toronto MPs and two others from Alberta, Harper denied he wants an election any time soon and is trying instead to govern with an emphasis on economic management.

"I don't think now is the time for big changes or for elections," Harper told a news conference.... Read more »

Save Our Parks!

More Parks Now! NOT Bill 29

You’re all making a difference! Now until February 19th is the best time to meet with your MLA and ask for new parks – Albertan’s #1 priority – instead of the proposed new parks legislaiton (Bill 29, Alberta Parks Act). Those outside Alberta - likewise the best time to ask the same of Alberta's Premier. Build the momentum: action checklist below.... Read more »

Park Plan Poor

An overhaul of the province's Parks Act may be well-intentioned and even necessary, but as it is currently written, it is dangerous. It puts the fate of Alberta's 500 parks at risk because it allocates unprecedented power to the parks minister to determine what development will be allowed.

Reminiscent of notorious Bill 50 and its arbitrary approval of billions of dollars of transmission lines, Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, gives the minister unilateral powers that should remain the purview of cabinet.

The bill purports "to foster an Alberta parks system that conserves unique and representative land within Alberta's natural regions for present and future generations while balancing environmental conservation and recreation and tourism opportunities," but it removes protections for wilderness areas and ecological reserves. There is no overriding mandate to ensure the ecological integrity of parks is maintained.... Read more »

            

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