It seems there’s a growing trend here in the Bow Valley – and at the Rocky Mountain Outlook, we’re all for it.
Now, we’re not talking about the ‘trending’ that is so popular in social media and other news media circles, we’re talking about a solid trend which is taking hold and just so happens to mirror what RMO has been about since its conception.
The trend is one of regional, or inter-municipal, co-operation.
When the Outlook first began publishing a decade ago, the founders realized that the Bow Valley, rather than being a collection of disconnected communities with nothing in common, was, in fact a vibrant region which encompassed communities with much in common.
At any given time, people living in one town may work, recreate, or be entertained, in another. Public schools have an overarching umbrella organization and we all share an MLA and MP who can be turned to for infrastructure and funding support, sometimes.
With that in mind, the Outlook was launched with the idea of publishing news items from the MD of Bighorn to Lake Louise. In fact, in the case of Valley athletes competing almost anywhere in the world, they’re included in these pages, regardless of hometown. And if events of interest outside the Valley, say, relating to Parks Canada take place, they are also included.
Within the RMO pages, readers were given credit for being interested in news which was not solely restricted to their own town.
So, being that RMO’s focus has always been of a regional nature, it’s encouraging to see that Bow Valley communities are embracing more of an inter-municipal mindset.
Rather than each community working on its own, sometimes at odds with another, there are now solid, inter-community-based projects in the works.
While Banff was ahead of its time in embracing a local transit system, that thinking will soon be expanded to a regional transit system – again, something that will benefit more than one community.
For communities which purport to be greener and more environmentally conscious than others, reducing carbon emissions while embracing mass transit can only be a good thing. Commuting between communities will be easier and in the future, in all likelihood, both communities could realize a boost to tourism because of the ease of inter-municipal travel by bus.
Inter-municipal co-operation has also been highlighted when it comes to bidding on hosting the 2014 Alberta Winter Games – a provincial sporting event which will draw thousands of athletes, coaches, friends, family and spectators to the Valley. The winter games should prove to be a boost for local economies not only at the time, but down the road when those same games attendees think fondly of their experience and the fantastic venues that were showcased, and are pondering a holiday.
More recently (see page 13), at the prompting of some Canmore developers, a solution to some water issues in Dead Man’s Flats may be at hand. The idea of running a pipeline from Canmore to the easterly MD of Bighorn hamlet will require the Town and MD’s sanction, but again, the idea of a cost saving water/sewer pipeline from Canmore to what is envisaged as an affordable housing project in Bighorn has plenty of upside.
In seeking an inter-municipal answer to the difficult question of water access in Dead Man’s, both communities should benefit.
What’s next, a waste treatment facility that will benefit all Bow Valley communities? If it happens, you’ll read about it here.