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LETTER: Potential spa, hotel near Rundleview would impact wildlife

LETTER: What would another spa and hotel, built for wealthy tourists, contribute to our community?


What is the Alberta government up to now? According to the developers who propose to bring yet another spa and hotel to Canmore, the province has invited them to develop a parcel of provincial land at the entrance to the Rundleview neighbourhood. To make the invitation irresistible, the government tossed in a dirt-cheap decades-long lease.

One can only imagine UCP minions in Edmonton gazing at Google Maps and seeing nothing more than an empty space in need of buildings and parking lots. The UCP’s mantra seems to be, “What good is land if it can’t be exploited or developed?”. This is, after all, the same gang that tried – and is still trying – to reopen the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies to coal mining.

So, it’s not surprising that, when asked about the impact on wildlife, the spa developers’ stock reply was simple: “It’s not a wildlife corridor.” Tell that to the many deer and elk who regularly hang out there, or to the bears and coyotes who travel through there day and night. Not to mention a host of other critters both large and small.

Sure, the area was once a mine site, and includes both undermining and tailings. But back then, there was ample space for animals to roam. Today, though not officially zoned as a wildlife corridor, this is one of the increasingly rare tracts of land in the Bow Valley where animals continue to live, travel, and rest.

We inhabit a valley where approved and proposed developments from Banff to Dead Man’s Flats threaten to restrict wildlife movement to the point of no return, both figuratively and literally. The question facing Canmore residents and council is this: what would another spa and hotel, built for wealthy tourists, contribute to our community? Would the trickle-down effects of a sweet government deal for developers outweigh the permanent cost to the wildlife that residents and visitors alike cherish?

Glen Taylor,


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