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Be careful with our taxes

When it comes to spending money few people are as good at it as the municipal government. Next year the municipality is poised to increase municipal taxes by 3.01 per cent. If the budget is approved, municipal taxes will have increased by more than 20 per cent since 2012, far outpacing the consumer price index (CPI). According to Statistics Canada, CPI has increased by 5.5 per cent since 2012 and as of Octo ...

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Not the right time for Tour of Alberta

There’s a time and a place for everything and given the surge of visitors Jasper National Park is expecting in 2017–when admission to the park is free–hosting the Tour of Alberta next summer is simply bad timing. In recent weeks it was revealed that Jasper was interested in hosting a stage of the international bike race on Sept. 1 2017, the Friday before the September long weekend. In 2015 Jasper National P ...

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2017 – The year of the tax

Brace yourself and your wallet because 2017 is shaping up to be an expensive year. From paying more for everyday household items, to shelling out more in municipal taxes, next year is going to hurt. On Jan. 1 the first phase of the province’s carbon tax will come into effect raising the price of gasoline by 4.5 cents per litre, diesel fuel by 5.35 cents and hike the cost of natural gas by more than $1 per g ...

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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asked the Jasper Park Cycling Association (JPCA) to temporarily remove data from a mobile app highlights the agency’s outdated policies and archaic attitude towards new technologies.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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