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Home » AMPPE in the News » Westhead announces more Kananaskis funding

July 5th, 2017 – The Crag and Canyon. Story by Spencer Van Dyk. 

From left, Canmore mayor John Borrowman, AMPPE executive director Casey Peirce, executive director for Friends of Kananaskis Country Nancy Ouimet, Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead, general manager for Delta Lodge at Kananaskis Stephen Dodwell, director of sales for Delta Lodge at Kananaskis Glenn Iles, and chair of the Kananaskis Improvement District Bruce Lukey, at the Nordic Centre on Wednesday for Westhead’s announcement that the province will give an additional $18.7-million to the improvement of Kananaskis parks this year.

Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead announced Wednesday that the provincial government will give an additional $18.7-million for projects to improve Kananaskis region parks.

The funding is in addition to a $9.7-million commitment from last year, Westhead said.

“This investment will allow the region to create more recreation opportunities for Albertans, complete flood recovery efforts, and improve accessibility for visitors with limited mobility,” said Westhead — on behalf of Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips — at the Nordic Centre last week.

Westhead added the investment — which is part of the province’s $239-million five-year plan — will begin make up for previous governments’ shortcomings in protecting assets and maintaining critical infrastructure.

“After years of inconsistent funding, it’s refreshing to see Alberta recapture the vision that helped create this incredible place,” he wrote in a statement released by the province.

The money will go towards more than 20 different projects at various levels of completion.

Projects include the already-completed McLean Creek Provincial Recreation Area campground upgrades, the in-progress West Bragg Provincial Recreation Area improvements to the parking lot, benches, washrooms, and trailheads, and almost $3-million for work on the Bow Valley Provincial Park and Bow River Campground.

Westhead said the investment will improve not just infrastructure, but also the local economy.

These projects, and many others across the Kananaskis region, will mean more than just nicer places to visit every summer, it will mean jobs,” he said. “Planning jobs, engineering jobs, construction jobs. Over the course of this five-year capital investment, we will be putting hundreds of people to work.”

Bruce Lukey, chair of the Kananaskis Improvement District, said the funding is “long overdue.”

“We’re definitely long overdue for investment in this area, infrastructure is a big part of the success of Kananaskis, even if it’s not always the first thing you might notice,” he said.

“The province’s five-year funding commitment will make a big difference throughout the region, ensuring Albertans, Canadians and other visitors can enjoy spending time outdoors in this beautiful recreational area,” he added.

Westhead said Alberta parks have an estimated annual economic impact of about $634-million.

“Here in the Kananaskis region alone, hundreds of thousands of visitors come every year to experience the incredible natural beauty; an estimated nine million people visit Alberta’s parks and protected areas annually,” he said.

Canmore mayor John Borrowman stated in a release by the province that improvements in Kananaskis will have direct and indirect benefits for the town.

Original article sourced here.

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