Banff National Park is Canada's oldest and most famous national park, and is considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of the Canadian National Park system. Unfortunately, Banff is also the most commercially developed national park in North America. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has proposed to build a massive convention center on the shores of Lake Louise at its Chateau Lake Louise complex. This development project will further stress an already threatened ecosystem and will put Banff's declining grizzly bear population in further danger.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has already begun construction on a 150,000 square foot, seven-story convention center on the shores of the Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Banff is a popular eco-tourism destination and has been declared a "World Heritage Site" by the United Nations. For the following reasons, but not limited to, the Canadian government should intervene and stop this development because:
1) It will add to the excessive commercial development in the park.
2) It will impact already stressed wildlife, notably the parks grizzly bear population - 10% of which has been killed or removed since August 2001.
3) It will have negative effects on the water quality of the Bow River water system.
4) Construction should not proceed while a permit for the development is being challenged by two judicial reviews in the Federal Courts.
5) The project was wrongly authorized without consultation with the Siksika First Nation, a requirement of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
6) It goes against the recommendations of numerous scientific studies that have concluded that any more development in Banff would be disastrous for the ecological integrity of the park on the whole.
We urge Sheila Copps to fulfill her obligation as the Minister of Canadian Heritage, of preserving the ecological integrity of all of Canada’s National Parks and to halt Fairmont's construction of its Lake Louise Convention Center.