Parks Canada has rejected a controversial plan to build a hotel on the picture-perfect Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park.
However, Maligne Tours — the company vying to have new developments at the scenic lake — was given permission to go ahead with 13 of the 14 projects, including tent-cabins.
The ideas have been met with controversy, with many saying development should be kept to a minimum in the National Park.
The Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) said in a news release that while the rejection of the 66-room luxury hotel is good news, they are still concerned with the 13 other projects that were approved by Parks Canada.
Parks Canada supervisor Greg Fenton says the company will have to come back with specific designs before they receive approval to build anything.
“Tent cabins, as an example, are subject to the decisions through a more detailed proposal and more detailed impact assessment,” Fenton said. “I guess it’s not inconceivable that they might be in position for construction sometime next year.”
Fenton also added that the tent cabins can be built with little impact.
“Tent cabins are smaller,” he said. “There’s a smaller environmental footprint than fixed-roof cabins or hotels.”
The AWA said that the precedent set by the tent cabins is concerning and the organization remains opposed to commercial developments within Canada’s national parks.