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Parks should embrace technology, not fight it

In an era of smart phones, mobile apps and big data it appears Parks Canada still has a lot to learn. News this week that Parks Canada asked the Jasper Park Cycling Association (JPCA) to temporarily remove data from a mobile app highlights the agency’s outdated policies and archaic attitude towards new technologies. In late spring Parks Canada asked the JPCA to remove more than a dozen wild land trails from ...

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Countdown to the 2017 municipal election

The election to the south of us might be decided, but that doesn’t mean election season is over. In less than 11 months–Oct. 16, 2017 to be exact–Albertans will go to the polls in local elections across the province. While some groan at the thought of another election cycle, it’s important to start thinking about the next municipal election for several reasons. First and foremost, if the community wants to ...

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Edson Airport stalled, but not stopped

The Edson Airport might be open for business, but don’t expect to catch a flight anytime soon. Earlier this week airport officials confirmed Intagra Air had quietly abandoned its plans to fly in and out of Edson back in June, leaving the airport without a commercial airline. The news is a major blow to the region, which has spent years lobbying the provincial and federal governments to allow it to operate a ...

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RCMP report reveals an uncomfortable truth

Jasper might be known for its snowcapped mountains, glacial fed lakes and its abundance of wildlife, but there’s new evidence to suggest there’s more to Jasper than meets the eye. A report released by the RCMP recently revealed Jasper had the second-highest number of marijuana busts per capita in the country. In fact, according to the report for every 100,000 people that visited Jasper last year there were ...

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Eleven years of publishing and counting

As the Fitzhugh celebrates its 11th anniversary this week, it offers us an opportunity to reflect about where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Over the past 12 months a lot has changed both in the newsroom and further afield. As a news organization we said goodbye to our long-time editor in May and four-and-half months later said goodbye to the paper’s publisher, both of whom spent the better part of ...

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Helping seniors could alleviate housing shortage

Anyone who has spent some time in Jasper will likely concur that finding a place to live in this picturesque town can be nearly impossible. With a vacancy rate that is non-existent and houses that have more people than beds, Jasper’s acute housing shortage is an issue residents are all too familiar with. While it’s easy to point out the problem, finding a solution is where things get difficult. The biggest ...

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Upholding an impartial press

This week readers may have found it surprising to learn that a reporter with the Fitzhugh was a board member with the Friends of Jasper National Park, an organization that found itself at the centre of a story in this week’s paper. While the story speaks for itself, the larger issue was the conflict of interest between our newspaper and the Friends of Jasper, an organization that has a close relationship wi ...

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Environmental groups sound like a broken record

A statement released last week from 12 of Canada’s largest environmental groups opposed to development in Canada’s national parks is just the latest example of a group with nothing new to say. Last week, the group called on the government to “say no” to the proposed bike path from Jasper to the Columbia Icefield and the conceptual proposal to build overnight accommodations at Maligne Lake. The environmental ...

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Marmot Road needs to be repaired

Anyone who has driven up to Marmot Basin over the past year has likely grumbled at least once about the poor state of the road. Over the past 12 months the road has gone from bad to worse, raising serious questions about whether it will survive another season of freezing and thawing. For the unacquainted, the particular section of road that is causing drivers grief is located just past the Portal Creek park ...

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Ottawa is listening

Ottawa might be thousands of kilometres away, but it’s finally getting the message. Earlier this week members of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development held private meetings in Jasper to discuss the challenges our tiny mountain community faces. The members of parliament spoke with a variety of groups and organizations including, local councilors, major businesses like Brewster ...

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