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AWA Comments on Expert Advisory Panel Report on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley

February 1, 2023

On December 5, 2022, Parks Canada released the final report from the Expert Advisory Panel on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley. The report outlines eight strategies to reduce traffic congestion and move people sustainably in Banff. AWA submitted a comment letter as part of the public engagement period ending on February 5th, 2023. The following are some of AWA’s main comments on the strategy:

  • The importance of maintaining ecological integrity is mentioned in the report, but is not a theme that underpins the suggested strategies, despite the fact that ecological integrity is the legislated first priority of Banff National Park. This is abundantly clear in the suggestions to develop gondolas, mobility hubs, and trains without analysis of whether new developments such as these will harm ecological integrity. The panel was not well-balanced with experts who could speak to local ecological constraints.
  • AWA is supportive of the creation of a singular system for transportation, booking, and associated user and visitor experiences, in addition to using pricing tools to incentivize the use of mass transportation.
  • The suggestions in the report often don’t align with the Banff Management Plan, which indicates that any new developments must not “compromise the scenic splendor for which the park has been inscribed on the World Heritage List, nor the distinctive natural, cultural and wilderness qualities that draw people to Banff”.
We have spectacular wilderness in Alberta, much of it under some form of protection. Every square millimetre of it has had to be fought for - will always have to be fought for, forever and ever. The struggle to retain and repair wilderness is conducted not just by a few individuals, but by large numbers of committed people, from all walks of life, all working in various ways toward the same end. We need to be grateful to all of them.
- Dave Mayhood
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