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.

Canmore firefighter/EMT recounts medical mission in Haiti

The night before Jacqueline Hutchison and a team of doctors and firefighters from across Alberta travelled to the earthquake-ravaged Republic of Haiti they received an important phone call from the organizer in charge of their trip.

A gang shooting had just occurred in Cité Soleil, one of the poorest areas of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, where the group’s medical clinic was located and where they would spend two weeks, starting Jan. 24.

“She said she understood if people wanted to back out or if there was any need to have a reason not to go,” Hutchison, a Canmore EMT/firefighter, recalled. “It certainly made me think only briefly about it because I have experienced unrest in other parts of the world.

“There was some hesitation and I had a long talk about it with my partner and son, but at no time did I think I wasn’t going to go.” Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Three Sisters residents rally for wildlife corridor

Public hearings regarding proposed development on Three Sisters lands are set to take place over the next few months and some residents from the area in question have joined together to ensure their voices and concerns are heard by both the receiver and members of Canmore council.

Following a Feb. 11 meeting hosted by Three Sisters receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which outlined plans for development and, according to witnesses, turned into a heated dispute, a subgroup of resident stakeholders has prepared a list of principles they feel should be adhered to before any development is considered.

The four principles are derived from the Town’s municipal development plan (MDP) and are as follows: preserve and protect the environment with viable wildlife corridors and habitat, actively involve the community with a “Made in Canmore” solution, mitigate and avoid undermining and preserve the integrity of adjacent lands. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Economists toy with sales tax idea for Alberta

Following an announcement by Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner that the Province’s projected deficit leading into the 2012/13 budget will be around $4 billion, the idea of implementing a sales tax as a way out has once again reared its way back into the conversation.

During an economic summit a few weeks ago in Calgary, which was set up by Premier Alison Redford and attended by members of all provincial parties, the topic of creating a sales tax was favoured by some of the province’s leading economists.

Todd Hirsch, a senior economist at ATB Financial, was one of the moderators at the summit and pointed out this option shouldn’t be very surprising despite the fact the province has never had a sales tax. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Winter in the Canmore mines

Canmore mine lamp house and entrance to Coal Mine No. 2.
Canmore mine lamp house and entrance to Coal Mine No. 2.

Every winter the old lamp house located beneath Three Sisters Parkway in Canmore groans with age. The windows have all been knocked out, the roof is in disrepair and the frost has taken its toll on the walls with those that are still in tact subjected to graffiti.

It’s safe to say the building, which was where workers met and collected their lamps before heading into Coal Mine No. 2, is not what it once was, but neither is the town itself. Continue reading

Telus makes claim for cell phone tower in Canmore

A temporary cellphone tower located a half block from Lawrence Grassi Middle School could become permanent, however, the company in charge says the town is in “really good shape” concerning the amount of radio frequency energy it emits.

Two weeks ago, representatives from Telus, the cellphone company that owns the tower, conducted tests in and around the school after concerns were raised from local residents and parents regarding potential health affects.

Using specialized equipment involving a measurement box technicians wear around their head that’s connected to a handheld antenna, Telus said it was able to identify the strength of all radio frequencies in town. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Mount Norquay lays out plan for summer operations

A plan to open one of the oldest ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies for the summer is now in the public consultation stage, with opponents voicing concerns about its effect on what they see as dwindling grizzly bear habitat in the Bow Valley.

Last Thursday (Nov. 29), Mount Norquay owners rolled out a long-range plan (LRP) for 2012 that includes giving up 42 per cent of its lands in exchange for opening the resort to summer activities such as via ferrata, which involves a steel cable, ladders and holds fixed to rock for users to climb. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Liberal leadership hopeful looking to re-engage Canadians

Supporters of the federal Liberal party are anxiously awaiting the announcement of potential candidates to lead them back into power for the first time since 2006, but one declared candidate is already on the move across the country promoting her policy of creating “one Canada for all Canadians.”

Deborah Coyne, a lawyer, professor and author from Toronto, is one of two federal Liberal leadership candidates who have officially registered for the chance to take on Stephen Harper’s Conservatives or reclaim opposition status from Thomas Mulcair and the New Democratic Party. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Banff National Park caribou reintroduction in early stages

A plan to reintroduce caribou, now classified as threatened under the Species at Risk Act, in Banff National Park is still in its early stages, however, key figures behind the project are conducting research in hopes of bringing back this iconic animal that once thrived in the western mountains.

Following an avalanche in 2009 that reportedly wiped out the entire remaining herd of caribou in Banff, a partnership was struck between Parks Canada, the B.C. government and the Calgary Zoo to create a captive breeding program.

All three parties are still committed to the project, but things are moving slowly and depend heavily on what facts are uncovered, said John Wilmshurst, acting resource conservation manager for Jasper National Park. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Alberta Liberal candidate set to create political diversity

The Liberal Party is looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in last year’s federal election and, according to local candidate Harvey Locke, that resurgence starts with a win in the newly vacant seat of Calgary-Centre.

A well-known figure in the Bow Valley through his environmental efforts as well as having resided in Banff for numerous years, Locke secured the nod to represent the Liberals to contend for the seat left open by Lee Richardson, who is now the principal secretary for Premier Alison Redford.

Running on a campaign that emphasizes redefining what a 21st century Liberal is, the newly-chosen candidate is confident his party’s values are what the majority of Albertans want to see within their government. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.