Friday, January 06, 2012

Is Stephen Harper going to sell Jasper National Park?

Internet headline: Take Actions! Jasper is our national park not a theme park!.

Whenever I read balderdash in the news, I know where to go to get the unvarnished truth: my MP, [Mr. All-Canadian Hero for Democracy and Conservatism]:
I'm writing to ask you to please debunk this obviously false rumor circulating that the Harper Government seeks to privatize Canadian national parks.

In particular, please verify for me that Jasper National Park isn't going to be sold to American-owned Brewster Travel Canada.

No Canadian would ever consent to such a deal -- no Canadian worth anything would even consider doing such a thing! And since Stephen Harper is, indeed, Canadian, I'm positive he'd never even conceive of committing such a wretched scam against our beloved country.

The obviously bogus article cited above does have some pretty specific details, though: "Brewster Travel Canada, owned by a US-based company, wants to blast out the side of the cliff beside the Icefields Parkway to build the “Glacier Discovery Walk” – a massive infrastructure “skywalk”, and charge people who wish to admire the view."

Sure, that's what Brewster Travel Canada would like to do, but surely Stephen Harper would block such a thing -- with his own body, if need be!

Yet, there are some really specific details in this article: "December 16th, 2011 is the last day for public comment on the Environmental Assessment for Brewster's proposed Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park— a 400-metre walkway and massive glass-floored 'skywalk' extending 30 meters over the Sunwapta Valley.

"The stunning Tangle Ridge viewpoint on the Icefields Parkway would be privatized and visitors would have to pay fees ranging from $15 to $30 per person to access Brewster’s Glacier Discovery Walk. The remaining free public viewpoint would look onto the massive glass and metal structure, marring the natural canyon landscape — where today, mountain goats and sheep roam freely."

But again, no Canadian would ever consider such a disgusting deal, altering and blighting some of the world's most beautiful scenery, scarring and maiming a Canadian national treasure.

If anything, Stephen Harper would doubtless lash out against such a deal, against anyone who would propose such a devastating and disgusting venture.

I'm writing asking for details of how Stephen Harper plans to block this deal -- if it does indeed exist -- and how he plans to protect Canada's national treasures from other such molestation, exploitation and blasphemication.

Because, if I know anything about the Conservative Party of Canada, it's that they are all about Canada! Keeping Canada Canada. Battling encroachment and erosion of our national identity, our national territory, our national treasures.

So that I can spread the word about how the Harper Government is ensuring nothing of this kind could ever happen, please send me all pertinent details.

I understand that some people don't like Stephen Harper, and that's they're right. But I draw the line when Harper critics dream up scurrilous lies and defamatory scenarios painting our Prime Minister as someone who would even consider selling a Canadian national park to a private interest so that private interest could alter and monetize it.

It makes me sick even thinking about it, as I'm sure it sickens you, too.

Help me bring the haters to heel. Please provide me with the real facts on this matter.


I have no doubt The Edmonton Journal is lying with this article: Jasper residents voice concerns about glacier walk project.


Anonymous said...

Check out the Edmonton journal dec 6. They have a story about it. I don't know how to give you the link on my phone. If you google "is Stephan Harper selling jasper" it's the link 2 down from yours. :)

Anonymous said...

Amelianna Lexine said...

I love that park! :'(

Anonymous said...

Here is some info I found:

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Knowledge is power and the information shared here by readers is very much appreciated.

From Parks Canada: "The Brewster Travel Canada proposal for the Glacier Discovery Walk meets a vision for the Icefields Parkway to provide visitors with quality experiences and learning opportunities that allow them to connect with their surroundings and gain insights into the area’s ecological and cultural heritage."

From the Brewster Travel Canada Web site: "Brewster Travel Canada (Brewster) is proposing to develop a stunning world-class, fully accessible unique viewing experience in Jasper National Park known as the Glacier Discovery Walk."

Both quotes are written in sterling press-release-ese and the only rebuttal I can think of is to merely shout in the faces of both parties: "Yeah -- accessible to all . . . for $30 a head!"

These articles only cement the idea of how bad a deal this Jasper Park/Brewster Canada abomination truly is.

Canada's national parks are public property and they are not for sale. Period.

BenH said...

Isn't this simply a park development issue? Brewster already charges for rides on the glacier, and I believe they have been doing so for decades. Looking at this more broadly, there are all sorts of private enterprises providing services in parks, including resturaunts, gas stations, stores, ski resorts. Many of them are owned by foreigners (American, Japanese, German, etc.). If you disagree with this particular development, by all means let your voice be heard, but the knee-jerk "Harper is selling Jasper!" is goofy. Similar proposals in the past have come and gone, sometimes they die, and sometimes they occur and we make use of the development without thinking twice about it.

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

BenH, I don't think you read the title of this article very well. You quote it as "Harper is selling Jasper!" That's incorrect.

The title of this piece is a question, not a statement. The answer to the question may well be "No."

BenH said...

My apologies, I was paraphrasing some of the rhetoric that has been used concerning this issue, and didn't really mean tar you with the same brush.

The point is, the whole debate is overblown, and it has nothing to do with Harper. This is a pretty normal proposal from a private enterprise to develop something in the national parks for profit. Like it or not, this is how much of the infrastructure in Banff and Jasper has been developed over the years, even under Liberal governments. If anyone thinks this particular development is a bad idea, they can and should write Parks Canada to register their objection. said...

I have lived in Banff 32 + years and even was an electrician building Brewsters wonderful glacier new (1995?) interpretive centre at the Athabasca Glacier. I also was a professional bus driver afterwards and know Tangle Ridge (the parking lot over all that scree , talus and talus creep below ) . Once and for all , there is NO glacier below this parking lot . There are sheep . Basically (in my option) this looks to me (ya pick me as an expert witness PLEASE) as a cheap attempt to try to emulate the ( U ) shaped overlook that north american natives used over the Snake River Canyon (or Grand Canyon )(not sure which but know that it exists @ either or) for tourist $ . Let our native brothers and sisters make their livings (and decisions) with any industry they deem fit on the land still left to them. They should have that right (in my opinion ) because they knew how not to leave an imprint or SCAR on mother earth. But Brewsters (corp.) should (in my opinion ) stick to showing the world PRISTINE wilderness