Friday, 21 March 2008

No More Open Spaces..Thank you Minister Morton

Hunting is a traditional form of recreation and means of adding to the larder of many Crowsnest Pass residents. With that Minister Ted Morton's proposal (Open Spaces) to create what amounted to paid hunting on private ranches met with unanimous disapproval with hunters from the Pass and province wide. The fear was we were moving to the European model that allows only those with wealth and privilege to hunt and that private landowners would be able to profit on elk herds that belong to the public.

Surprisingly the ranching and farming community was not in favour of the proposal either. This past week I attended the convention of rural municipalities (AAMDC) the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties in Edmonton. On Wednesday March 19th an emergent resolution was brought forward from the Counties of Warner and Cardston to add the AAMDC's voice to that of the Alberta Fish and Game Association denouncing the Open Spaces proposal and to lobby the province to the end of stopping the proposal. After a very good debate the members of AAMDC did pass the resolution quite handily.

Just a short time after the resolution session a bear pit session ensued with a dozen or so cabinet ministers, Ted Morton included. Answering a question from a young women the Minister of SRD announced that the portion of the policy that opened up private land to profit hunting would not go ahead. Mr. Morton showed that he does listen to Albertans and that he is the right person for this ministry.

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