A tale of two valleys

Annalee Grantfor the Daily Townsman

A recent decision by Environment Minister Peter Kent has eerily foreshadowed a story playing out in our very own valley.

On Thursday, Kent approved the controversial Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park - a project that will be privately operated by Brewster Travel Canada and see crucial wildlife habitat interrupted for a glass-floored observation deck extending over the Sunwapta Valley.

In his announcement, Kent touted the tourism benefits of the observation deck that will turn an existing pull-out into a paid tourism trap. Guests will no longer be able to stop and view the area for free like they can now. Instead they will stop at the Columbia Icefield Centre, and take a free bus. Then they will pay to use the observation deck, or will be allowed to observe the observation deck - for free. Oh what fun.

This project seemed so ridiculous that it wouldn't go through, and yet it did. What does this mean for our own controversial mountain development, the Jumbo Glacier Resort?

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