IN THE MEDIA: Federal NDP criticizes proposal for $66-million trail in Jasper National Park

By Clare Clancy, Edmonton Journal

The federal NDP is criticizing a $66-million proposal for a biking and walking trail in Jasper National Park. 

On Wednesday, NDP national parks critic Wayne Stetski said the proposal for a 107-kilometre trail is “putting the cart before the horse.”

“It’s one of these things that just appeared out of nowhere,” he said, noting the lack of public consultation or environmental assessment. 

Stetski, who is the representative for Kootenay-Columbia, said he wants Parks Canada to release full details of the proposed trail, which will run along the Banff-Jasper highway from Jasper townsite to the Columbia Icefield.

In June, a coalition of environmental groups said the project is indicative of a government trend towards the commercialization of national parks. 

“The priority for national parks is ecological integrity,” Stetski said.

Parks Canada spokeswoman Audrey Champagne has said the final route for the trail has not been determined, but the project is planned to be completed by March 2019.

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