July 20, 2024

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Letters, Feb. 25: Dismantling Fish and Wildlife robs environment of protections

Letters, Feb. 25: Dismantling Fish and Wildlife robs environment of protections

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Re: Opinion: Who is minding Alberta’s fish and wildlife, Feb. 17

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In the 1970s and early ’80s, then-premier Peter Lougheed created Alberta’s first departments for protection of the environment. He hired Fish and Wildlife habitat protection biologists to ensure industrial developments were done in ways that protected wildlife habitat. 

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In the late 1980s and ’90s, the Don Getty and Ralph Klein governments continued to establish approval and referral processes, and maintained an effective Fish and Wildlife division. 

From the mid-1990s to 2010, there was an erosion of the Fish and Wildlife division. Habitat protection biologists were eliminated. Industrial referral systems were dismantled. Habitat development was privatized. 

Now they’re disassembling the last remnants of the Fish and Wildlife division. Fish and wildlife enforcement has been sent down the road to highway sheriffs, fish have been farmed to agriculture and wildlife skidded to a forestry minister who owns a hunting outfitting company. Only the tiny species-at-risk group stays with Environment, but with no legislation to support them.

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Is it fish and wildlife management? No — it’s all a big con job. 

Richard Quinlan, Lethbridge

Notley to thank for cancer hospital

A recent election ad asks: “What did premier Rachel Notley do for Alberta?”

Well, after a decade of delays and indecision concerning the location of the new cancer centre and no new hospital, Rachel’s NDP “Got ‘er done.” This is what Rachel did for both Calgary and southern Alberta.

Al Pollock, Calgary

Emergency Act masked failure of leadership

Re: In his own words: Justice Paul Rouleau’s conclusion about the ‘Freedom Convoy’, Feb. 17

While reading some of the findings in the Justice Rouleau report, a couple jumped out at me. First: “The Freedom Convoy garnered support from many frustrated Canadians who simply wished to protest what they perceived as government overreach.” And how did Trudeau respond? With government overreach. 

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Second: “This absence of clearly defined roles and responsibilities before the arrival of the protesters led to confusion within the OPS chain of command.” The Ottawa police force whose sole responsibility was to deal with the convoy was structurally broken and unable to perform its most basic duties. As the solution to a dysfunctional Ottawa police force, Trudeau shuts down the fundamental democratic rights of all Canadian citizens. 

It is clear from these two examples that extremely weak leaders invoke draconian measures to mask the failings of their country’s basic institutions that they are ultimately responsible for. Canada is not broken. Its political leaders are.

Andrew D. Weldon, Calgary

Ask Calgarians if they want expensive Green Line

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Re: Is green line LRT on right track as costs rise and ridership falls?; Pivot toward a Bus Rapid Transit focus could cost less and offer more flexibility, Opinion, Feb. 18

Thanks to Licia Corbella for suggesting the need for a further pause and rethink of the largest (most expensive) project in Calgary’s history. And a special thanks to Jim Gray and those in our community who are carrying the ball on behalf of Calgary residents who may end up paying the bill.

As a senior and lifelong Calgary resident who has yet to use the LRT system (or bike lanes), I wonder why we are not hearing from those generations who may be using and ultimately paying for these investments in public transport.

Perhaps it’s appropriate to call on all Calgarians through a plebiscite or some other means to measure the appetite for this huge expenditure.

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Terry O’Callaghan, Calgary

Buses, not trains, the answer to Banff traffic woes

Re: How passenger service between Calgary airport and Banff can be transformative, Opinion, Feb. 11

The issue with accommodating traffic in Banff National Park is an immediate one that cannot simply await the potential construction of a Calgary-to-Banff Harry Potteresque train.

This dream is years from realization, if ever, requires huge capital and operating investment, has unknown technical issues and time-consuming environmental assessment and uncertainty. A solution requiring far less capital and operating costs and no regulatory approvals is to simply use buses.

Buses are well on the way to being electric or even hydrogen-powered. The road network exists, is maintained by others and has wildlife fencing and crossing structures in place where needed. Existing infrastructure at the airport and Banff, and possibly the old Greyhound Station in downtown Calgary, already exists.

Time to use common sense, or we may be standing around on platform 9 3/4 waiting for an imaginary train.

Terry McGuire, Calgary

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