Our town and national park face a huge decision about Liricon’s proposal for the railway lands.
But few people, including our Banff Town administration or mayor and council, have questioned the core issue: are these parcels of land properly public or private lands? What if these are fundamentally public lands, meaning, they belong to all of us?
Two other developers, including CP Rail, have failed to develop them. This suggests they are properly public lands. If so, then in this national park, what is the best use of public lands? Is our national park best served by a location monopoly and commercial growth?
Among the many issues we might all be concerned about – private control over our town’s visitor parking, regulating a location monopoly, authentic vs ersatz heritage, splitting our commercial centre, more pressure on housing prices, etc. – the central problem, as I see it, is the use of public lands for private gain.
Peter J. Poole,