Residents gather for Three Sisters info ahead of public hearing

The debate surrounding a massive project for the remaining 80 per cent of developable land in Canmore has garnered increased attention since Town council unanimously delayed first reading of a new area structure plan (ASP) last week.

That interest was on full display Friday (May 3) when more than 200 people packed the Canmore Seniors’ Centre for a presentation by local experts regarding proposed development in Three Sisters Mountain Village.

“A whole lot of people care a whole lot about this Valley,” said Gareth Thomson at the presentation before introducing the guest speakers.

Following council’s decision to delay first reading of the ASP due to the belief it would not have received a majority of votes from councillors to pass and therefore end the months-long process, residents concerned with the development have stepped up their efforts ahead of a public hearing next Wednesday (May 15).

The main issues local experts, as well as those currently living near the possible development have, surrounds the wildlife corridor adjacent to the proposal and the risks associated with building on undermined lands.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

School board stands firm on cell tower

Despite Telus claims the Town of Canmore is “running close to the limits in capacity,” the Canadian Rockies Public School division has reiterated its stance against placement of a permanent cellphone tower near a middle school.

With over 77 per cent of homes within town having access to Internet and 16 per cent strictly wireless service, a plan for the national telecommunications company to increase its capacity in certain areas could be delayed without new infrastructure.

Following up on its letter to members of Town council last year, CRPS has requested the temporary cellphone tower on Seventh Street, which Telus has proposed to make permanent, be relocated.

The tower’s current location is roughly a half block from Lawrence Grassi Middle School, an issue that has created concern for some parents and staff regarding the risk of adverse health effects.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Council skips first reading of Three Sisters ASP

An area structure plan (ASP) for the remaining 80 per cent of developable land in Canmore has moved past first reading and will go directly to a public hearing following a decision by Town council at a special meeting, Tuesday (April 30).

Council unanimously voted to proceed with a formal public hearing on May 15 instead of first reading of a new ASP for Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) due to a lack of confidence the plan would actually be approved as presented.

A public hearing is held following first reading of any new bylaw, but since the ASP has, according to both administration and councillors, uncertainty surrounding various issues, the hearing will precede first reading in hopes the applicant will make changes before the matter is brought back to council.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Lady Macs drop home opener against Barbarians

The newly-christened Lady Macs roller derby team battled hard, but lost their debut bout of the season against a more experienced side from Kimberley, B.C. at Thelma Crowe arena in Canmore, Saturday (April 27).

Despite dropping the bout 246-132, the home opener against the Bavarian Barbarians representing the East Kootenay Roller Derby League was an overall success for the Bow Valley team and its newfound fans.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Masked rioters bill approved by senate committee

A bill proposed by local member of Parliament Blake Richards that would make it illegal to wear a mask during a riot or unlawful assembly has cleared a major hurdle and could become law sometime this summer.

Following first, second and third reading in the House of Commons, Bill C-309, otherwise known as the Concealment of Identity Act, was approved by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Thursday (April 25).

The intention of the bill, as Richards has previously stated, is to stop those looking to cause trouble at peaceful demonstrations by making it an indictable offence for wearing a mask or disguise while participating in a riot.

If passed, the Criminal Code would be changed to include the offence that could lead to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Council increases budget for waste infrastructure

Canmore council has increased its budget for capital projects by $2.27 million, which will be funded from debt, to construct a regional waste transfer station and a municipal materials recycling facility at the Town’s wastewater treatment plant.

In addition to the extra funds for the two pieces of waste management infrastructure, the increased budget will also cover a new baler worth $70,000, for a total of $300,000 for recycling equipment.

Andreas Comeau, the Town’s manager of pubic works, made a presentation for council to approve the budget increase on Tuesday (April 24) at a special meeting that lasted over five hours due to a lengthy list of agenda items and discussion among councillors regarding the increase.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

New business recycles pesky propane bombs

Roughly 500,000 propane cylinders are sold in Alberta each year for various uses such as camping, but what happens to all those potentially explosive materials when they’re eventually discarded?

While some municipalities offer services to collect these cylinders and other types of hazardous waste like paint and solvents, there remains a contingent of people, particularly campers, who struggle to find an environmentally-friendly way of disposing these little one pound propane bombs.

Calgary native Jeff Sands, owner of Propane Busters, has an answer and, more importantly, a solution to this issue that’s sustainable, environmentally-friendly and runs on two wheels.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outloook.

Alberta between mild and extreme ‘petrostate’

Oil is by far the most popular natural resource making headlines on a weekly basis in Alberta and for good reason – the Province has relied on its vast reserves of petroleum for both economic and political reasons.

With impending decisions to be made regarding the future transport of this coveted resource, whether it be through pipelines such as Keystone XL or by rail, Alberta will continue to be known in some circles as a “petrostate,” but to what degree is a topic economics professor Alan MacFadyen has tackled extensively.

Last month, MacFadyen, an Emeritus at the University of Calgary who established the petroleum economics program within the Department of Economics, examined this, and the history of Alberta’s oil industry, during a talk at the Seniors’ Centre in Canmore.

According to the professor, the Province is somewhere in between a mild and extreme version of a “petrostate.” Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Miners’ Union Hall granted renovation funds

The Canmore Miners’ Union Hall is one of the last remnants of the town’s coal mining history and over the next few months the building will be renovated to celebrate that history while also increasing its presence as a centre for the arts.

Last Friday (April 12), a matching provincial grant of $125,000 was presented to the Pine Tree Players, the theatre group that uses the hall, to complete exterior renovations.

Banff-Cochrane MLA Ron Casey presented the Community Facility Enhancement grant from the Ministry of Culture and congratulated the various volunteers who were part of preserving this piece of Canmore history.

“This is very much a representation of Canmore’s past, so it’s nice to see it being upgraded and brought back to at least its original look,” Casey said. “The Union Hall has always been the place where the community got together.” Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Former Canmore day care owner acquitted of assault charges

A tale of deceit, motive and cruelty came to an end last week in Canmore Provincial Court after a former local day care owner and director was found not guilty of seven counts of assaulting children in her care three years ago.

Following a trial that took place in March 2011, which involved strong testimony from seven former employees of the now-defunct Dragonfly Daycare in Grotto Mountain Village, Susan Lee Preece was cleared of all charges by the Honourable E.J. Creighton on April 3.

In announcing his decision, Creighton also found the Crown’s key witnesses, the seven former employees, had a motive in their testimony to bring charges against Preece in an attempt to remove her from the child care facility.

“I believe these individuals colluded to bring forth these allegations with the objective that Mrs. Preece would be held criminally responsible for the allegations,” Creighton said. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.