Council to weigh fencing, corridor on Three Sisters

Canmore Town council will face a tough decision next week as it evaluates a Sustainable Screening Report (SSR) concerning proposed development on land within Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV).

If approved, the development could, according to estimates, increase the town’s population by 10,000 people.

Over the last week and a half some residents, especially those already living in TSMV, have voiced their opposition to the proposal after the receiver in charge, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), laid out the draft plan for development.

Last Wednesday (Feb. 27), more than 90 residents gathered at St. Michael’s Hall in Canmore for a presentation from local conservation groups regarding what some local experts feel is a major issue with the proposed development having a significant impact on the wildlife corridor adjacent to TSMV. 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.

Paraglider crashes into Lady Mac

Public Safety specialists from Alberta Parks say several people are lucky to be alive after two crashes involving a paraglider in Canmore and a hot air balloon in Kananaskis Country occurred over the past week.

The first incident happened Thursday (Feb. 14), when Alberta Parks received a call at about 1:30 p.m. regarding a 38-year-old male paraglider who crashed after launching off Mount Lady Macdonald.

“He had crashed his paraglider a couple of hundred metres below the tea house,” said public safety specialist Jeremy Mackenzie.

Accompanied by a paramedic from Canmore Fire as well as two other Alberta Parks staff, the rescue team was slung into the site to assess and package the wounded man, now identified as Andrew Wexler of Canmore. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Canmore council turns down Stewart Creek development

After a lengthy debate between members of the public and councillors regarding a proposed development on Stewart Creek Golf Course, Canmore Town council did not approve a required Sustainability Screening Report (SSR) application due to the site’s location adjacent to a wildlife corridor and its lack of providing an overall benefit to the town.

Canmore council held a special meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 12), where it heard presentations from the applicant as well as members from the public concerning the plan to develop 20 cabins, or houses, near the golf clubhouse.

According to the agenda package given to council before the SSR hearing, the proposed land use development is in accordance with the existing Three Sisters Mountain Village Stewart Creek Area Structure Plan (ASP) from 2004. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Council opts for temporary skating oval for 2014 games

Council has elected to go ahead with a plan to build a temporary 400-metre outdoor skating oval in anticipation of next winter’s Alberta Winter Games, which is being co-hosted by Banff and Canmore.

Last month, organizers of the 2014 Games made a presentation to council requesting a permanent skating oval be put in place at Millennium Park to host long track speed skating events and have year-round potential for indoor soccer and tennis.

The intent of the proposal was to create a lasting Games legacy that would also increase accessible skating opportunities, economic activity associated with competitions and increase sports tourism and sport development. Read the fully story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Banff residents fight for obstetrics

The upcoming closure of the maternity ward at Banff’s Mineral Springs Hospital has led some residents to protest the decision, but hospital officials insist mothers and babies will benefit from increased safety measures.

Last Thursday (Jan. 24), over 50 people attended a rally at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Banff for an information session and to protest closure of the maternity ward.

Labour and maternity services are set to move to Canmore General Hospital near the end of March.

Organized by volunteers uniting under the banner Hatch, Patch and Dispatch, a reference to the types of services they believe community hospitals should offer, the event was also a chance to deliver a clear message to Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health. 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

Terms of reference for Three Sisters approved

A terms of reference document for a new area structure plan (ASP) regarding the future of Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) will ensure appropriate environmental policies are created and development on land will not take place until the area known as Site 9 is transferred to a conservation society, council decided, Tuesday (Dec. 18).

Canmore council debated the outline for the ASP presented by Three Sisters receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), at length on Tuesday.

Since February 2009, TSMV has been in a court-ordered receivership and accumulated approximately $115 million in debt. The Town approved a framework agreement last month, as well as terms of reference for an environmental impact statement (EIS). Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Canmore approves 4.3 per cent tax increase

Canmore taxpayers will see a 4.3 per cent increase in municipal taxes next year after council unanimously passed its operating budget on Tuesday (Dec. 11).

The budget includes a 13 per cent increase for waste and recycling as well as a 12 per cent utility rate increase per year for the next three years, effective the first of January.

Totaling $39.3 million, next year’s budget includes funds for a full year of operations for projects such as Elevation Place, the Roam regional transit service between Banff and Canmore, the 20-year contract with the RCMP and a stand-alone fire rescue service. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

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.