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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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Jasper Victim Services Perspective: Cybercrime

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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Housing proposal needs support

Whether you've lived here a month, a year or a lifetime, at some point you've no doubt come face-to-face with Jasper's housing shortage. Just like the story of coming for a season and staying for a lifetime, the tale of house hunting—often without success—has become a Jasper right of passage. That is, of course, for those who choose to stick around, sleeping on a friend's couch in between homes or bouncing ...

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Challenging our assumptions about disabilities

Everyday we are bombarded by various facts and figures that at times can leave your head spinning, but every once and a while we hear a fact that shakes up our understanding of the world and challenges our own assumptions. This week we learned that about 3.8 million people, or 13.7 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older, are limited in their daily activities because of a disability, according to the latest ...

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Grocery bills continue to increase

They say you gotta eat to live, but with the cost of food rapidly increasing, it’s getting more and more difficult to make healthy choices in the grocery store aisles. The joke circulating on social media this week is you have to take out a loan just to afford a head of cauliflower—which is running between $8 and $13 in Jasper—and, although it’s comical, the sad part is that’s not likely to change anytime s ...

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