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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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Backcountry deserves more attention

In 2014, Tourism Jasper decided that Jasper’s reputation needed an overhaul—something catchy and fun. After a year of research and planning, Tourism Jasper launched its Venture Beyond campaign, encouraging visitors and locals alike to explore all that Jasper has to offer, including its backcountry. The catchphrase was widely accepted and became Jasper’s official brand. And while the rebranding has been a su ...

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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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