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Alberta

Looking to start a new Christmas tradition? Ever considered winter camping?

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Enjoy a winter comfort camping retreat at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

From the Province of Alberta

Cozy up to winter camping this holiday season

Picture this: winter camping under a star-filled sky, gathering around the glow of an open fire then nestling into a warm cabin.

The above scenario could be you, your friends and family through Alberta Parks’ heated comfort camping units complete with essential amenities such as beds, fridges, stoves and cutlery.

Situated within select provincial parks, comfort units are an ideal setting to relax in after an afternoon of hiking winter trails, cross-country skiing or ice-fishing.

“Winter is a great time to experience the full range of what our provincial parks have to offer and the holiday season offers many recreation and other opportunities in our provincial parks. With the right gear and a bit of planning, you and your family can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience in your own backyard or explore an entirely new area of the province.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Ready-made winter camping experiences aren’t Albertans’ only option; Alberta Parks also offers year-round, winter campground and backcountry camping for people who still want to tent or use their trailer or RV.

Winter campers take note: services are limited and will not include access to running water.

Whether you want to camp or just enjoy a day out in nature, provincial parks also support a wealth of winter recreation activities, including hiking, downhill and cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, skating and fat biking.

Quick facts

  • Winter comfort camping options can be booked at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park near Lac La Biche by calling 780-623-8449 and Cypress Hills Provincial Park in southern Alberta, which offers cabins, rental huts and lodge accommodations by calling 403-893-3833.
  • Check out holiday season and winter provincial parks experiences and opportunities at winter events.
  • This past summer camping season, Alberta Parks processed a record-breaking 193,995 online campsite bookings through Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca
  • The previous online reservation record was 170,997 in 2018.
  • Since its inception 10 years ago, Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca has processed more than 1.42 million online campsite reservations.
  • The online reservation system has more than 650,000 registered account users.

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Alberta’s disaster risk assessment plan in poor shape: auditor

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s auditor general says the province does a poor job of anticipating and preparing for disasters.

In a report released this morning, Doug Wylie says Alberta doesn’t have a consistent plan for evaluating the risk the province faces from disasters such as floods or wildfires.

He says the government began preparing one in 2014.

But the effort floundered after different ministries couldn’t agree on the severity of the risks posed by different hazards.

Wylie also found that many local municipalities have large gaps in their hazard assessments and many don’t have a risk assessment at all.

Wylie points out that factors such as climate change are increasing disaster risks in Alberta.

He says disaster costs have greatly expanded since 2003 and that better risk assessment would help Albertans prepare better and reduce the damages. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Lack of capital for major project investments cited by Indigenous business panel

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CALGARY — A panel of Indigenous business leaders says limited and slow access to capital is a major barrier to their First Nations’ ability to take an ownership role in the resource megaprojects being built across their lands.

In a webcast discussion sponsored by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, the panellists said they view ownership of oil and gas, pipeline and transmission line projects as essential to providing prosperity to their people, while also protecting their environment and culture.

Mark Podlasly, director of economic policy and initiatives for the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, points out that First Nations don’t own their land under the Indian Act and can’t use it as collateral to obtain funding in the millions or billions of dollars needed to invest in big projects.

The member of the Cooks Ferry First Nation in B.C. says many Indigenous people are reluctant to support change, however, because they fear losing control of the land.

Delbert Wapass, founder of Project Reconciliation, an Indigenous consortium considering making a bid to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline from the federal government, says his group would create an Indigenous sovereign wealth fund that would be shared among 340 communities across B.C., Saskatchewan and Alberta to be used as those communities see fit.

Crystal Smith, elected chief councillor for the Haisla Nation Council in Kitimat, B.C., says her community decided to support LNG Canada and the Coastal GasLink pipeline to bring natural gas from northern B.C. to the facility after years of watching projects being built nearby that provided little local benefit.

“We have a vision for our people and it comes from being a participant in projects … Our vision is to improve the quality of lives of our people today and for future generations,” she said.

Coastal GasLink has been supported by all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route. Hereditary chiefs who led opposition to the pipeline signed an agreement in May in which the federal and B.C. governments recognized their rights and title.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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september, 2020

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