It’s been an interesting week here in the Bow Valley.
Water issues, near disasters… all worthy of comment.
When it comes to water, the Town of Canmore has set a bad precedent in countering a reduction in water usage in town with a rate increase.
Once a municipality has headed down the environmentally friendly path by promoting water conservation through low flow toilets and the like, hoping to have LEED certified construction taking place and paying lip service to reducing carbon footprint, the last thing that should happen is when these things are embraced by residents, it costs those same residents more.
Let’s face it, in the back of most people’s minds, reducing water consumption is seen as good for the environment, a worthy goal. But also, there is the understanding that, in reducing consumption, a financial saving will eventually be realized. Often, it costs more to be environmentally friendly, initially, so a future cost saving is often the carrot that encourages acceptance.
The problem is, now that Canmore residents are doing their bit to reduce water consumption, the Town, whose budget was based on miscalculated offsite levies, will charge more for water to cover a loss of revenue. Story on page 16.
Bad precedent. What next? Turn off your lights more often and pay higher electricity rates? Turn your thermostat down and watch your gas bill rise? Reduced energy consumption must be rewarded, not punished.
Still in keeping with water, kudos to the Town of Banff in not allowing the sale of bottled water in the Rec Centre. Like Canmore, Banff has realized the boundless waste and unnecessary cost of selling water in plastic bottles. There’s more on page 14.
Bottled water, a monumental victory in marketing in providing a virtually free commodity at a cost (yet people complain gasoline is expensive?), is simply an unnecessary purchase. Yes, in some parts of our world bottled water is necessary; it could even mean the difference between life and death – but not in Canada and certainly not here in the Bow Valley where tax dollars pay for the best in treatment facilities.
As Mayor Karen Sorenson said, Banff’s water is… “fresh and pure, and therefore, the need for bottled water in our community is not as necessary as perhaps in some other communities. "
Finally, three men should have been rushing out to buy lottery tickets this week after they escaped, relatively unscathed, from a pair of different incidents.
First off, a Canmore man who was ill-advisedly skiiing solo in the backcountry, Jan. 29, was caught in an avalanche – but wasn’t killed due to nothing more than good fortune by the sound of it. Our story is on page 17.
Karma must have been with him, as not only was he alone, he wasn’t buried by the avalanche which swept down on him from Mount Sparrowhawk. Further, and again by good fortune, he was buried only to the armpits and could make a cell phone call for help, because he luckily had a signal.
This man, whose name has not been released, walked a very thin line between life and death.
Then, on Tuesday (Feb. 1), two truck drivers walked away from a Trans-Canada multi-tractor trailer crash.
When you see the level of destruction suffered by the tractor units on page 14, it wouldn’t be understatement to say it was miraculous they walked away.