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No one’s above the law

So far, there’s no proof that former finance minister and West Yellowhead MLA Robin Campbell directly lobbied the provincial government in his new role as president of the Coal Association of Canada. Truth is, even if he did, it likely wouldn’t have helped him much, considering his party was annihilated in last year’s election, leaving him with few friends in the legislative assembly. However, there does se ...

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Celebrating Jasper’s volunteers

When was the last time you high-fived a volunteer? If it’s been awhile, consider next week an opportunity to play catch up. April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week—a week dedicated to celebrating Canada’s non-profit organizations, charities and volunteers. In Jasper, there are plenty of people deserving of a high five. Our community has a thriving volunteer workforce, spanning the gamut from hockey coaches t ...

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Jasper Victim Services Perspective

As the coordinator of the Jasper Victim Services Unit, Paul Schmidt is on call at all hours of the day, ensuring that someone is always available to console and assist victims of tragic accidents and crimes in Jasper National Park. In this monthly column, Schmidt will talk about some of the issues he sees. He won’t speak for victims, but will address the issues from a victim services perspective, drawing on ...

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Trail remains a mystery

Jasper’s getting a $65.9 million walking and biking trail, but no one seems to know where the trail’s heading or why it’ll cost four times our annual municipal budget to develop. The federal budget was announced last week and included the news of a pricey new trail in Jasper National Park, but despite our best efforts, no one can tell us anything about it. First, Parks Canada directed our questions to the D ...

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Payphone concerns go unanswered

Although Telus owns the payphones on the Icefields Parkway, that doesn’t make the company responsible for ensuring there’s access to communications on the highway. As a private business, Telus has every right to remove its property, especially if its not making a profit. It’s easy to point the finger at the big, bad corporation taking away much needed payphones from a road without cellphone reception, but p ...

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Protect our LGBTQ youth

As rainbow banners line Connaught Drive in preparation for the seventh annual Jasper Pride Festival, the Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) is busy preparing a policy to protect LGBTQ students from harassment, bullying and discrimination. School boards have until March 31 to complete their policies, based on guidelines developed by the provincial government, before presenting them to the minis ...

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Welcoming our new neighbours to Jasper

On behalf of the Fitzhugh, we say 'Welcome to Jasper—Ahlan wa sahlan' to our new Syrian neighbours who arrived in Jasper last week. For months we’ve watched from afar as Syria has been torn apart by war. We’ve watched people flee their homes, taking life-threatening risks to find safety. The images have been shocking, gut wrenching and incomprehensible. As Canadians—and, more specifically, Jasperites—there ...

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Getting it done in Jasper

Getting things done in Jasper is often like watching a glacier melt, it’s time consuming and difficult to see any real change. Between the municipality and Parks Canada the pace at which things get done can be painfully slow, just look at the beleaguered library or Parks’ mountain pine beetle strategy. But for all the missed deadlines, frustration and bureaucratic wrangling a lot has actually been getting d ...

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Court dismissal brings clarity

It’s not often that everyone wins in court, but—in a way—that’s what happened in the battle over Maligne Lake. Parks Canada received validation that its actions were neither illegal or unreasonable when it approved Maligne Tours’ conceptual proposal for the development of 15 tent cabins on the lake shore. And, on the other hand, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Jasper Environmental Asso ...

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Fresh tracks opening up Feb. 16

Nova Scotia’s famous groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring last week. But in Jasper, winter is only just beginning. On Feb. 16, Parks Canada will lift the first round of backcountry closures, finally allowing backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and hikers to access Mount Edith Cavell, Portal Creek and the Tonquin Valley. Two weeks later, on March 1, the closure signs will come down ...

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