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LETTER: Bow Valley needs help with housing, food security, health services

Editor: Miranda Rosin was recently named the parliamentary secretary for tourism and wrote a post celebrating the things she looks forward to accomplishing in her new position. While I commend her enthusiasm, I would like her to consider that growth

Editor:

Miranda Rosin was recently named the parliamentary secretary for tourism and wrote a post celebrating the things she looks forward to accomplishing in her new position.

While I commend her enthusiasm, I would like her to consider that growth and diversification should wait until she addresses the crumbling foundations that our tourism sector is built upon – the people who live in those communities. The towns in her constituency – and now also her portfolio – desperately need assistance from the province in resolving the issues of housing, food security, and health services.

One of the best ways to do this would be to give the communities the tools to pass along some of the costs – like building new low-cost employee housing – to visitors through some form of resort community status.

We are currently paying for the infrastructure costs of millions of visitors on the backs of tens of thousands of municipal taxpayers – most of whom are working in the tourism and hospitality sector themselves and can't afford the increasing costs of transporting, accommodating, and supporting increasing numbers of visitors on top of the already soaring costs of living

Just this year, the Town of Banff was slammed by huge increases in the municipal portion of education tax as well as the implementation of the commercial/residential tax split. We don't just need more funding for Travel Alberta. We need actual policy changes that recognize the differences inherent in our tourism-based communities and provide the tools we need to serve for our guests without bankrupting the residents. Mark Walker,

Banff