Authorities too quick to relocate
It seems that any time a bear gets close to Canmore – whoosh, it’s gone again.
Wildlife officials this week trapped and relocated grizzly bear No. 105 and her three cubs, but they are not the first relocations so far this year.
At least four black bears have been relocated to other areas of the province in order to keep them from human-wildlife conflict situations. Another died during an attempted relocation.
In the national park, the go-to management practice for bears near people is less relocation and more area closures.
Of course provincial officials can’t close a private golf course even if it straddles wildlife corridors and human-use areas. However, trails and public lands can be managed to keep humans out of those areas when bears are known to be there.
But government bureaucrats don’t want to take that approach. While as residents we are supposed to be constantly vigilant as wildlife can be anywhere at anytime, wildlife managers are quietly removing them from the area. Canmore is promoted as a community that is “living with wildlife,” but public safety concerns often mean bears are flown across the province if they show any inkling of sticking around the Bow Valley.
A pro-active approach preaching wildlife safety partnered with a well-funded, co-operative team of wildlife officials would lead to a safer future not only for bears, but the valley’s two-legged residents as well.
Redevelopment plan defeat unnecessary
Two years of work, over 50 people, hundreds of hours of work at intense planning sessions, and everybody who went out of their way to attend a public hearing and make a submission.
That is the work that has gone into the Bow Valley Trail Area Redevelopment Plan that has been defeated by council to allow newly elected local politicians Vi Sandford and Sean Krausert to vote on it into the future.
While all that work is not completely going, points out the new mayor, John Borrowman, what is lost is the official on-the-record submissions from the public hearing held in April.
This is unnecessary delay for the benefit of two people and at the expense of those who went through the official public hearing process.
Of course, they can come back and comment again but when it is already difficult to get people to engage in public processes, this move risks alienating parts of the community.
Elected officials are absent now and then from meetings. If we postpone or restart every process so all six councillors and a mayor get their vote then we’d be going nowhere fast.
What is more concerning, however, are comments by Councillor Hans Helder that he has at least 15 to 20 amendments he would like to see made to the bylaw.
Now that it is defeated Helder’s changes can be incorporated without any transparency as it can now happen behind closed doors.
Even if it takes hours it shows more respect for the public process to make substantial changes to a bylaw at a public meeting. Of course the nature of Helder’s changes are unclear because they no longer have to be made at regular council meeting open to the press and the public.
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