Hundreds rallied in Red Deer Thursday night calling for the proposed Bighorn Park project consultation process to ‘start over.’ Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Hundreds rally against Bighorn Park proposal in Red Deer

Rally calls for Bighorn Park consultation to start over

Chants of ‘start it over’ and voices on loudspeakers could be heard coming from the parking lot outside the Servus Arena Thursday night.

Hundreds of Central Albertans rallied in Red Deer demanding the proposed Bighorn Park project process start over.

The protesters took issue with a wide range of topics related to the proposed $40-million provincial park and the government getting involved in protecting the land.

READ MORE: Rally opposing Bighorn Park proposal to take place in Red Deer tomorrow

Bentley-resident Ryan Brown, who helped organize the rally, said he thinks the biggest problem with the proposal is that the details are wrong.

“The details are very vague and open to interpretation and there is a lot of them for future consideration,” he said.

“When the only thing we have to go off of is the track record of the government dealing with the land-use issues and proposals – then that is just not satisfactory to anyone in the area or anyone that uses the backcountry.”

Garett Schmidt, director of Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association, was one of the speakers at the event. He said the number of people who oppose the Bighorn Park project is not being considered.

twitter.com

“We have almost every single municipality, town, country, First Nations, recreational groups, and those that live off that landscape, including outfitters and guides and trappers. Every one of them is opposed – not to the preservation of our landscape – but to this process, and the way you all are being treated,” he said.

“That’s the really big thing. You guys are being vilified because you simply disagree and that’s completely unacceptable in today’s society.”

READ MORE: Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Janice Lee from Rocky Mountain House attended the rally on horseback. She said she feels the current government is overlooking the years of work already done on protecting the area.

“Instead of continuing on with the plan that they have been ironing out for 15 years, a new person comes in and just decides that this is the way it is going to be and we’re not going to consult and we’re going to overlook how the people feel about it and just push through with what they want,” she said.

“It’s not that people don’t want to protect the headwaters and don’t want to protect the backcountry, they just don’t want it governed so strictly.”

The Alberta government previously called off in-person sessions in favour of telephone town halls after officials alleged they were verbally harassed.

But on Tuesday the government announced four public information sessions to be held on the proposal.

The session in Red Deer is taking place Sunday, Feb. 3rd at Westerner Park from 1 to 4 p.m. Another session is in Sundre on Feb. 4th from 4 to 7 p.m. Two other sessions are planned for Drayton Valley and Edmonton on Feb. 1st and 2nd.

Just Posted

Ponoka County resident wants $62,000 in lease revenue

County approves revenue to landowner going forward, legal review to look at retroactive funds

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

Ponoka County receives letter of intent related to livestock operations

The Ponoka Right to Farm Society intends to submit claim through Court of Queens Bench

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Most Read