Moving Waterton Lakes National Park Visitors Centre: How and by whom are Relocation Decisions Made?


October 20, 2016 :: Lesley Little and Garry Ursenbach
Moderated by Heather Oxman

Parks Canada is investing in a new Visitors Centre in Waterton Lakes National Park. A Visitors Centre is a primary service offered in national parks and the current Waterton Lakes Visitors Centre, in its present location, can no longer support the over 400,000 annual visitors adequately.
A decision to relocate the Visitors Centre to the often congested “downtown” area of Waterton village has been made despite much local opposition. Parks Canada argues that they engaged a range of stakeholders and leaseholders before the decision was made, including Improvement District #4, the Waterton Lakes Leaseholders Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Waterton Park Community Association and individual cottage and commercial leaseholders.

Parks Canada manages national parks on behalf of all Canadians and supposedly welcome input from the community and visitors alike. They have heard a wide range of comments on the Visitors Centre, its purpose and its location and say they are committed to working collaboratively with all interested Canadians in the planning of this important facility.
The speakers will describe the process of local consultation and collaboration by Parks Canada. (Parks Canada was contacted by SACPA, but declined our request for a speaker on this topic)

Speakers:     Lesley Little and Garry Ursenbach
Lesley Little has spent at least part of the past 55 summers in Waterton. Her oldest daughter worked there for two summers and now her grandchildren have discovered life at "The Mountain House", as one grandson describes it. Lesley has served on the Waterton Lakes Leaseholders Association (WLLA) Board since 2013 and has produced the WLLA Newsletter since then.

Garry Ursenbach honeymooned in Waterton in 1957 and have spent time there every year since then - except when doing volunteer work in Africa and Mexico. Bought a Waterton cottage in 1975. As a professional engineer spent 40 years with oil/gas pipelines. Served 25 years on CSA Pipeline Code Committee and Chaired Western Canada Section of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and other community work.

Moderator: Heather Oxman

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 pm
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)



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