October’s MLA Report

provincial park
deniseriches / Pixabay
Cameron Westhead MLA Banff-Cochrane
Cameron Westhead
MLA Banff-Cochrane

I hope you had a great summer enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family. The talented artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and citizens that call Canmore home are an inspiration, and combined with the beautiful scenery, draw tourists from around the world.

Locals and visitors alike will benefit from several projects that our government recently announced for the Bow Valley. With the continued increase in visitors to Kananaskis Country, $18.5 million in upgrades to the Kananaskis Emergency Services Centre will ensure that first responders have modern facilities to best meet their needs. The new facility will provide fire and advanced life support ambulance services for both residents and the many tourists who take advantage of recreational opportunities in the Kananaskis region.

I had the pleasure in June, 2016 on behalf of Minister Brian Mason to announce nearly $1.6 million in funding to upgrade the Town of Canmore’s wastewater treatment facility as part of the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership and Water For Life grant programs that saw increased funding by the Alberta Government in Budget 2016. This funding will improve access to safe, reliable water supplies and enhance environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment while creating jobs in Canmore and across the province.

Another significant investment the government has made in the Bow Valley is to the region’s many provincial parks and recreation areas. This investment will support implementation of Alberta Parks’ commitments under the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. It will also address facility upgrades and capital maintenance through Capital Maintenance and Renewal funding. As part of a $239 million package to upgrade provincial parks throughout Alberta, $25 million in capital funding over the next five years will go towards upgrading, maintaining, expanding and developing parks infrastructure for:

  • Bow Valley Provincial Park
  • Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
  • Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park
  • Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
  • Elbow River Provincial Recreation Area
  • Sibbald Lake Provincial Recreation Area
  • West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area
  • Cobble Flats Provincial Recreation Area
  • McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area
  • Gooseberry Provincial Recreation Area
  • Fallen Timber South Provincial Recreation Area
  • Kananaskis region (multiple capital maintenance projects)

Over the course of the summer I was fortunate to attend many community events and meet with constituents. Highlights include Canada Day, Canmore Folk Fest, and volunteering with Friends of Kananaskis to help build trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

From September 30 to October 1, Alberta Culture Days took place at venues throughout the Bow Valley. The Whyte Museum was an official celebration site, with eight organizations working together to host Banff Buffalo Days. This event celebrated the return of the bison to Banff National Park and the signing of the Buffalo Treaty by 12 nations/tribes in a historic treaty of co-operation, renewal and restoration with First Nations leaders.

Looking forward to winter, I hope that you are tuning up your snow sports gear to enjoy all of the trails and facilities the Bow Valley has to offer. I wish you and your family the best, and I look forward to seeing you around the community.

Cameron Westhead
MLA for Banff-Cochrane