The Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) lawsuit against the Town of Canmore is a major breakthrough in the emotional impasse between the people of Canmore and an unwanted development in our town. TSMV has now signalled it is willing to stop its development which supports the people’s vision of environmental protection, land conservation and limited Town expansion.
The onus is now on Canmore’s municipal council. Will council throw away millions of dollars in legal fees fighting the litigation? Or will council show leadership on arguably the most important issue affecting Canmore’s future?
TSMV acquired the land out of bankruptcy at a significantly discounted price. It has invested more money to advance its projects. But it has not incurred the $161M it now claims – that number is posture, setting the stage for a potential buyout.
Council needs to show the leadership to raise the funding to end this impasse. Council can, and should start now, to reach out to conservation societies across North America to build the case for contributions to protect the Three Sisters lands. Federal and provincial funding could be available. Negotiating a fair and reasonable reimbursement for TSMV would avoid years of legal battles, distraction and disruption.
There are multiple examples of successful land protection programs in Canada and the United States that are ready to be tapped – if Canmore’s elected representatives are willing to lead.