Alberta parks legislation on hold indefinitely

Author: 
Kelly Cryderman
Source: 
Calgary Herald
Date published: 
Mon, 2011-02-07

Controversial Alberta parks legislation put on hold until this spring has now been quietly postponed again, indefinitely.

Environmentalists and legal experts have criticized Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, for taking away formal legal protections for Alberta parks. They also said it concentrated too much power in the office of the minister.

When the bill was on the verge of being passed in November, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady suspended debate, saying she would review the concerns and introduce the legislation again this spring, with amendments.

"I have continued to listen to the views of Albertans," Ady wrote in an update posted to her department's website on Friday.

"While I had planned to bring park legislation back this spring, I will spend the time needed to address the main concerns raised by Albertans before moving forward with new legislation."

Dianne Pachal, a spokeswoman for the Sierra Club Canada in Calgary, said it was regular Albertans pushing back - the message spread in part by social media - that stopped Bill 29. The department received hundreds of letters and e-mails against the bill.

"We pulled the parks back from the brink of disaster," Pachal said.

The priority now, she said, should be to establish more provincial parks in Alberta.

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