Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Decision Iced: Parks Canada Wants More Time to Study Alberta Glacier Tourism: Parks Canada Puts Glacier Decision on Ice

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Decision Iced: Parks Canada Wants More Time to Study Alberta Glacier Tourism: Parks Canada Puts Glacier Decision on Ice

Article excerpt

JASPER, Alta. - Parks Canada has put off making a decision on a U.S. company's proposal for a private, for-profit tourist attraction in the scenic and environmentally sensitive Rocky Mountains.

Brewster Travel Canada wants to build a 400-metre-long interpretive trail and a glass-floored platform that would jut high above a valley that overlooks glaciers along the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park.

Brewster says its Glacier Discovery Walk would triple the number of visitors to the area at a time when tourism in mountain parks is down.

Parks Canada has received more than 2,000 written submissions, many from people who oppose the project, which would see visitors pay a fee to use the walk. There is also an online petition that has been signed by more than 179,000 people from around the world who want Brewster's glacier plan scrapped.

"Privatizing Jasper National Park will set a dangerous precedent to allow destructive development by private corporations in World Heritage Sites across Canada," reads the petition on the avaaz.org website.

"This goes entirely against what Canadians - and visitors - expect and deserve from Canada's wild and magnificent national parks. We call on you to listen to the Canadian public and your community and stop this development immediately."

Parks Canada officials were not available for comment. The federal department posted a statement about the delay on its Jasper National Park website. …

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