Canmore must do more to ensure that our community’s decisions on development advance priorities for the future, and not the priorities of the past.
I recently watched David Attenborough’s latest film, A Life on Our Planet. In it, he makes plain the choice humanity faces. Either we begin to live in balance with the natural world, now, or humans will perish as a species – and soon.
This is not Attenborough’s opinion. It is an existential truth.
It is hard to think of a project less consistent with the principles of sustainability and balance with nature, than the proposed Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) development. This proposal is, at its core, about creating a resort community in a critical wildlife movement corridor, on the edge of a national park.
This is not a path for the future. It is business as usual. It is the past.
Fifty per cent of the world’s wilderness has been lost in David Attenborough’s lifetime. Since the 1950s, Earth's populations of wild animals have more than halved. Every year, humans cut down 15 billion trees.
It’s convenient for us to think that these statistics refer to places far away. The Amazon, Indonesia, Africa. We would do well to recognize that our actions here in the Bow Valley are contributing to these sobering global figures.
Around the world, municipalities are leading the way to a future in balance with nature. Towns from Kansas to Germany are now net-zero municipalities. Cities from New Zealand to the Czech Republic are rewilding urban and peri-urban areas, rather than continuing to develop them.
Certainly these communities faced opposition from the proponents of business as usual.
But they are charting a path that future residents will look back on with pride, inspiration, and gratitude. I hope that our council, administration, and community have the courage and tenacity to do the same – whether we are contemplating TSMV or any other development.