FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
January 16, 2019
The Alberta Advantage Party commits to scrapping the Bighorn Park Proposal in its entirety, if elected, and will turn back the hands of time for the Castle Park and Porcupine-Livingstone projects that the NDP put in place after forming government.
Marilyn Burns, Leader of the AAP states, “The Bighorn Park Proposal is destructive to Albertan’s way of life. The NDP government has failed to consult meaningfully or adequately with any stakeholder affected by this project, including First Nations, municipalities and towns, the existing tourist industry, hunters, trappers, fish and game, agricultural users, oil and gas, sand and gravel stakeholders, or recreational users.”
“Above all, the Bighorn Park Proposal project, and that of Castle Parks and Porcupine – Livingstone discriminates against families. It prevents families from enjoying Alberta’s great outdoors. It virtually eliminates recreational use over a huge swath of western Alberta.”
Burns explains that the proposed legislation disallows camping within one kilometer of a Public Land Use Zone or at the discretion of the Director, which means that camping could be closed down at the whim of a particular Director. There is no process in place for consulting with user groups to designate trails, nor would it be possible to designate all of the existing trails in this huge area. She notes that stakeholders in the Castle Park area were asked to simply trust the NDP government back in 2016, and when this government had its way it destroyed existing bridges and trails, and has prevented ordinary Albertans from enjoying backcountry adventures that Albertans in those areas have enjoyed for generations. The NDP is ending backcountry adventuring.
“If elected as government in the spring 2019 election, the Bighorn Park Proposal will be scrapped and Alberta would return to the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan, which is the current legislated land use framework. We would go back to the drawing board and create an open and transparent process, which provides integrated land management that is sustainable and that would provide access to our beautiful natural areas for all Albertans.”
Burns concludes that “It is irresponsible to spend $40 million on this proposal when the end result is to simply sterilize responsible Albertans from use of this huge, beautiful area of our Province.”