EDMONTON (CP) – Alberta’s environment minister has cancelled public information sessions about proposed new parks, citing “bullying” and “abuse” which she says make it impossible to guarantee safety at the meetings.
Shannon Phillips says she’s heard stories of Albertans who are afraid to attend community events, as well as people being berated in public and followed home.
In November, the N-D-P government announced eight new parks along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper national parks in an area known as Bighorn Country.
Fourteen public and invitation-only information sessions were scheduled in five communities between December and January 31st, but Phillips now says four of them are cancelled.
She says the government will re-evaluate its engagement plans in order to ensure people in the affected communities “can participate safely.”
One opposition lawmaker says the people he saw at public events were concerned with the parks proposal, but were “completely civil.”
United Conservative Party member Jason Nixon accuses the government of trying to ram the plan through before an expected spring election.