The Green Party of Alberta is thrilled to announce that the 175 parks sites included in the February “Optimizing Alberta Parks” plan will no longer be delisted or closed. This victory reveals that pressure by tens of thousands of Albertans makes a difference.

The Green Party of Alberta maintains that they will further hold the United Conservative Party accountable, for there remains the risk that these areas could lose protection as legislative changes to Alberta’s parks system are expected under Alberta’s new Crown Land Vision.  

Therefore, today, the more than 21,000 Albertans who wrote a letter to their MLA in opposition to the plan have cause to celebrate and should be proud that they stood up for their parks. However, there is still more to be done, and we at Global Green News received a statement from Albertan Green Party Leader, Jordan Wilkie, on this victory and how further action should be taken.

Statement by Jordan Wilkie on Park Closure Cancellation:

Statement Unmodified by GGN

When the United Conservative Party (UCP) Government announced their plan to delist one third of our parks I immediately wrote on my social media platforms “Kenny just kicked a hornets nest”. And since that moment it has been incredible to see not only the Greens of Alberta stand up and fight this, but people of all partisan loyalties come together to push back in the tens of thousands and say “NO!”

People in Alberta are literally taking back their democratic rights and it is important that we celebrate that. It is also important to celebrate the people that sacrificed for this. My hat goes off to the members of the Alberta Environmental Network, CPAWS and the Alberta Wilderness Association that fought this tooth and nail and brought the non-partisan action that was needed for this win.  

Now what people need to understand is that this victory is only part of a larger struggle. The UCP government is the least transparent government I have ever had to live through. As always, this government is trying to save face and spin this debacle. We must keep them accountable. We must fight to not just keep our parks, but make it clear that we want to expand and protect our parks with highest of standards. The valiant and unifying effort by Albertans to save over 28 thousand acres of our Provincial Park system is only the beginning of a larger victory that we all must strive for. We have a UCP government that has no vision for a sustainable future and believes that the market is more important than our drinking water. This is a government that has rescinded Coal Policy to allow open strip mining in the Eastern Slopes of our Rocky Mountains. This will affect our ecology and water security on an unprecedented level (see our press release here).  

So for everyone that was active and spoke out, organized and got active… Those that had a lawn sign up to “Defend Alberta Parks”… I urge you to keep those signs up and to add more signs to “Stop Strip Mining our Rocky Mountains for Coal“… It’s time we show the UCP government what real vision means and fight to “Expand Alberta Parks!” or we will always be left fighting over the crumbs that this government thinks will satiate us. Well the Greens of Alberta and the incredible people that stood up for our parks are not satiated… We are on to you Premier Jason Kenny. You are not fooling anyone. If you think you can delist our parks and sell off our crown land you have another thing coming. If you think you can decapitate our mountains for coal and pollute our drinking water you have another thing coming. Don’t mess with the Indigenous, ranchers, and ecology on the Eastern Slopes. Don’t you dare touch our Provincial Parks Act or any other policy that protects our natural areas. 

Hornets are small but they are relentless. We will sting you again and again and every time we have a victory, we will attract more and more to our cause. What was once just an angry nest, is now a giant swarm.  

Margaret Saville

Margaret Saville studies psychology and political science at McGill University in Montreal, and would like to pursue political journalism. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Nelson, British Columbia. Her passions include environmentalism, literature and writing, and down-hill skiing. Margaret is committed to addressing social issues such as the climate change crisis, racial and gender inequality, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+ rights, and advocating for mental health awareness.

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