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Live entertainment isn’t free

By just about all accounts the Jasper Folk Music Festival (JFMF) was a huge success, which is why the Fitzhugh was dismayed to learn that several locals were caught trying to sneak into the venue this year. According to organizers, it became a big enough issue that they may have to consider hiring paid security next year, which would increase ticket prices. While this would likely solve the problem, the rea ...

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Cost of tourism unsustainable

As Alberta’s energy industry continues to struggle, the province’s tourism has become a bright light for the provincial economy—more specifically tourism-based communities like Jasper, Banff and Canmore continue to remain choice destinations for visitors throughout Alberta, collectively netting an annual economic benefit of more than $2-billion. However, just how long that cash cow will last is anyone’s gue ...

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Parking fees need measured approach

With parking lots at capacity and the town in need of alternative revenue sources it’s time Jasper seriously considers charging visitors for parking. Last week administration suggested council consider implementing a pilot project charging visitors for parking in municipal parking lots. The idea split council, with those in favour arguing it would generate additional revenue for the town, while those oppose ...

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Jasper is full

Jasper often likes to think of itself as a quiet, mountain town, blissfully living in coexistence with tourists, but the reality is Jasper is struggling to cope with the influx of tourists this summer and the cracks are beginning to show. Nowhere is this more apparent than the number of people illegally camping in town. Since June, bylaw officers have been handing out at least six tickets a day. In fact, th ...

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Ending the stigma around suicide

Suicide. It’s a conversation we’ve been conditioned to avoid. It’s not something we’re suppose to talk about or even acknowledge, yet it affects all of us and is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age. That lesson was brought home again this week after a volunteer firefighter made the ultimate choice to take his own life. In a community as tight-knit as Jaspe ...

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Succession planning essential for CFS

For the majority of residents in Jasper the work done by Community and Family Services (CFS) often goes unnoticed, yet in times of trouble it’s often the first place residents turn to. Whether it’s talking to an outreach worker, picking up food at the food bank, or simply enjoying a home cooked meal with 300 of your neighbours on a Sunday night in the dead of winter, CFS is the backbone of this community. M ...

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Cutting red tape a step in the right direction

There are few things as frustrating and time consuming than trying to build or renovate a home in Jasper National Park. For anyone who has ever tried to build an exterior door or put in a new bathroom, dealing with Parks Canada can be an exhausting and discouraging experience. Time and time again we’ve heard stories from locals about Parks Canada making people jump through hoops to get simple variances and ...

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Bike park a no-brainer

There are very few summer activities as popular as mountain biking in Jasper National Park, yet when it comes to the two-wheeled sport Parks Canada seems passively interested at best. In recent weeks, the Jasper Park Cycling Association (JPCA) approached Parks Canada’s Planning and Development Advisory Committee to get its blessing to build a mountain bike skills park in the west end of town. If approved, i ...

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Additional revenue key to Jasper’s future

Almost 15 years ago to the day Jasper residents made a choice that would forever change the direction of our tiny mountain community. On July 19, 2001, Jasper residents voted in favour to establish local government, setting in motion the next steps towards local self-determination. While a lot has been accomplished since then, full self-determination can only be achieved when the municipality has full contr ...

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New government, old tactics?

When Canadians went to the polls last November many voters hoped a new government would usher in an era of greater transparency and public engagement, particularly when it came to important infrastructure projects, like pipelines. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like much has changed. Last week, a federally appointed panel tip-toed into Jasper hoping they could get in and out of town without anyone noticing– ...

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