January 18, 2021

Despite the climbing claims, Alberta calls the parks policy a success

The Alberta government says the announcement of its new parks is a clear success, not a boom.

“The government’s latest call for partners is a huge success, meaning all areas currently considered provincial parks or public recreation areas will remain the same,” Alberta Environmental Spokeswoman Jennifer Toxvik said in a statement Wednesday.

“Alberta’s parks are for sale, never have been. This is never a plan to ‘remove’ parks.”

But the announcement by the United Conservative government on Tuesday that no parks would be closed, whether a partner was found or not, and that all parks would have current legal protections was seen differently by others.

“It may be the only time I have seen them [retreat] Since they took office, “said Duan Brad, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“This is a bizarre announcement. It says all of their goals have been achieved and this is not a boost.

Last March, Environment Minister Jason Nixon said the government would close 20 provincial parks in whole or in part and hand over 164 to third-party managers. Sites that cannot find any managers will lose park status and become public crown land.

The plan provoked widespread opposition, including more than 20,000 letters to politicians and a popular lawn identification campaign.

One of the groups that fought against the plan to close, remove or hand over the parks, the successful opposition, shows that the government should consult with Albertance before making further changes in the use of the crown land.

“We have seen that this government is not holding a lot of shares [that], “Said Katie Morrison of the Canadian Parks and Wildlife Association.” I think this is a mistake and any changes in the parks law should be subject to full public consultation. “

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Collective agreements

Tuesday’s announcement reached 170 collective agreements. But it does not explain how new they are and how long they have been around. It did not provide any details about the partnership.

“Who are these partners? What kind of activities are they going to allow? How are they going to be maintained?” Asked Brad.

Toxvik did not say how many alliances were new.

Examples of five different types of contracts that the government signs with parks operators show that they vary widely. Some involve operators for safety purposes, while others rely on following Alberta environmental guidelines.

Morrison said most current partnerships involve operations rather than management. It is very important that any contract has executive decisions with responsible public bodies, he said.

“If anything else – that is, changing the administrative powers or downloading the responsibility for park management to the groups – we would be more concerned.”

The government has promised legislation to modernize Alberta’s parks law. The overall direction is in its Crown Lands Vision, which is a five-page document.

Morrison said he expects there will be a significant opportunity for public input.

“We want to make sure that any legislative renewal adds to the strength of the defense, and if they reshuffle, we [want to ensure] We will not lose all of these parks we fought so hard to keep. “