Shutting out Albertans Letter to the Editor by Gregory Pohl, Sept 10, 2020, Edmonton Journal
For decades, a water well at the Bleriot Ferry Provincial Recreation Area has topped up water jugs; slaked the thirst of weary paddlers; cooled kids off on hot days; washed sandy feet; filled coffee pots on brisk September mornings.
Until this year. Last fall, the Kenney government decided it could save approximately $1.14 per citizen if it shut down this campground and 183 other parks and protected spaces. The campground closed for good on Tuesday, but Alberta Parks already decommissioned the well by taking off the handle. And the department also removed the water supply a couple of days’ paddle upstream at Tolman Bridge campground.
It takes a special kind of vindictive short-sightedness to destroy a source of drinking water. Even if the campground had to be closed (debatable), and the outhouses boarded up for want of maintenance, why on earth would you take the pump handle off?
This old water well with no handle now stands as a monument to the small-minded lack of vision that seems to come far too easily to this government. A simple, effective machine that quenched the thirst of Albertans for so many years, rendered useless by a misguided bureaucratic decision.