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Future of Banff skiing threatened in Liberal's budget bill avalanche

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Twenty-three little words — buried in the recent federal Liberal government’s 349-page budget bill — will shrink the amount of space available for Albertans and tourists to ski in Banff National Park.

Tucked away under annex 3 on page 328, the omnibus budget bill says: “The Government proposes to introduce amendments to the Canada National Parks Act: to alter the boundaries of ski areas in Banff National Park.”

How’s that for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s much-trumpeted transparency?

While additional legislation is needed, as soon as the majority Liberal government passes the 2019 budget those 23 words pretty much become law. It’s a sneaky way to pass contentious legislation — something the opposition Liberals objected to when the Harper Conservatives did the same thing. It’s gross hypocrisy.

No other national parks in Canada face similar mention in the omnibus legislation. Such discriminatory measures are reserved only for Alberta, it seems. Imagine if the feds tried to ban motor boats in Quebec’s Mingan Archipelago National Park by sneaking that into the budget bill. There would be a Constitutional crisis that would make the SNC-Lavalin scandal look like a molehill of a problem in vote-rich Quebec.

Brad J. Pierce, counsel with Borden Ladner Gervais in Calgary, acts for several leaseholders in Banff and called the action of the federal Liberals “almost fraudulent.”

“The surprising thing is the government has now weaved it into an omnibus budget bill, to remove some of the area available for skiing within these areas,” said Pierce.

The move “is just such a sneaky, under-handed, unparliamentary, undemocratic way to do it,” he added.

“I can’t even describe how angry I am at that and Calgarians are going to wake up one day and........

© Calgary Herald