Mitigation Planning for Future Floods
In late June 2013, six creeks in the town of Canmore flooded leaving a nasty mess. Most individual homes had flood insurance, those without had to pay out of pocket. There is a sense that – in the future – events like this should be avoided. So, acting in accordance with the zeitgeist of democratic politics, the municipal government of Canmore is claiming ownership on the unowned waterways and mountains of Canmore and creating a central plan to mitigate future disasters through mountain hydrology.
Canmore's Rabbit Problem
Rabbits plague the town of Canmore. They've been around for years, the result of a municipal failure. Someone once had a lot of rabbits on his property; this went against the town's by-laws. After an unsuccessful legal battle, the rabbit owner cleared his property of rabbits by releasing them into the town. And since rabbits breed like.... well, rabbits, the sight of these animals is a normal concern for residents.
The other day a 34-year old man from Edmonton was busted for driving a van full of marijuana. The RCMP pulled him over on Highway 1 near Canmore; they found over 300 pounds of product. Now the man is out on bail, but set to go to trial tomorrow. Meanwhile marijuana consumers are facing higher prices and the RCMP are getting paid to do something anti-social. I can think of three reasons why this otherwise forgettable news item should be getting front-page coverage.
Canmore, Alberta is in the midst of a real estate bubble and its principle wealth-creator (tourism) is based on the same phony economy of low interest rates. Perhaps as a result of these economic fundamentals, the town's expansion into a city is neglecting the mechanisms that make cities work. Canmore has become an urban sprawl. There is also an absurd notion that these new suburbs are “sustainable” and “environmentally-friendly.” Simply put, Canmore's wealth is illusionary. This post outlines the main problems with Canmore and unless corrected, the bust that follows the bursting of Canada's credit bubble will cripple the town's economic and social life.