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sunday, july 15, 2018 // ISSUE 125


Dump fire puts Parks officials on hot seat A Parks Canada blaze at the Jasper Transfer Station during the Canada Day Long Weekend had some motorists asking the burning question: Is there a fire ban, or not? The answer was, yes, there is (it’s since been lifted). Several reports of smoke coming from an area a few kilometres east of Jasper were phoned in to Jasper emergency officials on June 30 to July 2. Motorists were understandably confused: a fire ban which had been in place since May 18 was still in full effect as the fire hazard in Jasper National Park was marked at extreme. Turns out, the smoke was from a Parks Canada fire at the transfer station. Employees were burning wood which had been put aside following work that took

place on Pyramid Lake Road and had accumulated over a month, according to a spokesperson. When asked about the burn, communications staff said the fire was monitored and fire management officials were consulted. “Parks Canada selected a day with a low fire rating and imminent rain,” Steve Young said in an email. “Rain actually picked up in intensity as that particular day progressed.” Furthermore, the fire was contained on three sides by large thick walls of dirt and rock prior to ignition, he said. “The site was closely monitored throughout the day with a water truck and backhoe present.” bob covey //


page A2 // the jasper local // issue 125 // sunday, july 15, 2018

editorial //

Local Vocal Last April 15 we here at The Jasper Local decided that we would not be printing any more letters or related content having to do with Holocaust denial, or the purporting of similar ideas. It was tiring, frankly, having to sift through the correspondence coming from groups engaging in revisionist history and it was equally as dreadful having to wade through the backlash of responses to those ideas. But recently something happened that made me change my mind. As I was at the garden space my wife and I used to share with Monika Schaefer— back before her now infamous YouTube video made her dually a villain and a martyr—I recognized there was a void in the community conversation. Even though the majority of Jasperites learned about Schaefer’s arrest in Germany back in January, it seemed like no one would speak of it, as though nothing had even happened. Recalling with a sad chuckle the zealous dedication she had to properly hilling her potatoes and precisely thinning the rows of carrots and beets she lorded over, it suddenly struck me as very troubling that the only folks who would utter her name were those casting aspersions—typically on social media or in a similar context of mob-mentality. Please don’t get me wrong. I take a lot of issue with Schaefer’s version of historical events and particularly her associations with people who run in white nationalist circles. But rather than humiliate, degrade and abuse her, which is what I see happening from the majority of those who approach this topic, I’d much rather enter into conversation with someone I don’t agree with, and then decide whether or not that conversation is useful to me. I can remain curious and open minded without the fear that my ability to think for myself will abandon me. And I can disengage without worrying that something dangerous is taking place. Look, I’ll admit I’m confused about all of this. I don’t support in any way “reforming” Canada’s immigration policies or making sweeping generalizations about particular groups. But I also don’t like that someone can’t question narratives without being tarred and feathered and blacklisted and being put in a high security prison. That’s cruel and unusual punishment and if you say she

deserves it, I implore you to show me the evidence. From what I know of Monika Schaefer—and I knew her well, for many years—she is a truth seeker, but non-violent. She is counter-culture, but not a criminal. She is a kooky, violin-playing environmentalist whose explorations down an uncomfortable road, lined with unsavoury characters, must be very lonely. But she is not a threat. A free press—of which newspapers are an important part—is designed to question authority, to keep power in check and to give all members of the public a voice, so how can I condemn Schaefer for wanting to do the same, so long as she’s not inciting violence? I won’t feel shame for having compassion for someone who I see is being treated unfairly, and even if I’m not interested in the questions she and others are asking, I will let the marketplace of free ideas decide which ones are worth listening to and which ones are best ignored. But ignoring is a far cry from persecuting and the less we are allowed to ask, the more we will find ourselves (ironically) acting like the close-minded ideologues we purport to be against. In a phrase: More light. bob covey //

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sunday, july 15, 2018 // issue 125 // the jasper local// page A3

ATCO transmission line approved by Parks Parks Canada has green-lit the connection of Jasper National Park to Alberta’s electrical system.

On June 22, the federal agency approved the ATCO Jasper Interconnection Project. The decision followed the Alberta Utilities Commission’s (AUC) May 4 conclusion ACE! // TROY MILLS CLAIMED THE FIRST HOLEthat the project is in the best interest IN-ONE OF 2018 AT THE FAIRMONT JASPER PARK of the public to supply Jasper with GOLF CLUB JULY 4. MILLS HOLED OUT ON THE BAD BABY, NO. 15 WITH A PITCHING WEDGE. electricity through a transmission solution rather than continue using an The Jasper Environmental Association isolated generation system. opposed the approval of the project. They “The Commission … finds that approval proposed to replace the existing generating of the facility applications is in the public units at the Palisades Plant with new, dualinterest, having regard to the social, fuel (natural gas and diesel) generating economic and other effects of the project, units. The AUC found that concept including its effect on the environment,” would have a high carbon footprint and the AUC report stated. furthermore has said the Interconnection The project will include the construction of Project is the lowest cost viable solution to a new substation 8 km east of the townsite, meet Jasper’s needs. connecting to another planned new Wilson is concerned that the new transmission line located outside of the park. transmission system will leave Jasperites in Jasper’s Brian Wilson is displeased by the the lurch if there is a supply problem. decision. He believes that the 45-kilometres “If some disaster happens, people are going of 69-kilovolt transmission line strung to have to come from out of town to fix it,” he between 15 metre high poles will constitute said. “visual pollution” and is concerned for the ATCO could not comment on that detail ATCO Electric employees who currently by press time, either. work out of the Palisades Power Plant. The new transmission line will be “As soon as the plant is decommissioned, constructed along existing utility and they’re done,” he said. transportation corridors. A Parks Canada ATCO could not confirm how this decision spokesperson said approval is subject to would affect staffing levels by The Jasper conditions requiring ATCO to implement Local’s press deadline. measures to protect natural and cultural Parks Canada said it completed a thorough resources, and an environmental review in accordance with the agency’s restoration program with annual reporting. mandate. Wilson is in disbelief that Parks Canada is “Parks Canada determined that the Project, not giving the aesthetics of the park more with the implementation of mitigation regard. measures, will not cause significant adverse “That view is gone forever,” he said. environmental effects,” a statement read. bob covey //


page B1 // the jasper local // issue 125 // sunday, july 15, 2018

Local community//

Schaefer’s correspondence from prison reveals buoyant determination Jasperite Monika Schaefer, along with her brother Alfred, is on trial in Germany for incitement of hatred. The violinist, environmentalist and activist has been in a Munich prison for six months after being arrested during a court hearing for former lawyer and convicted Holocaust denier, Sylvia Stolz. Denying the Holocaust is a criminal offence in Germany. Schaefer’s arrest stems from a video she created in which she suggests the Holocaust is a lie. Some of Schaefer’s letters from prison have been published by the Canadian Association for Free Expression, a blog describing itself as “Dedicated to free speech, immigration reform and resorting political sanity.” Founder Paul Fromm, who gained notoriety for his association with white supremacy groups, has published replies to himself from Monika as well as letters from Monika to other supporters. In one such letter, Monika describes

her life in the maximum security cell she has been in since January 3. She writes about only being allowed 20 photographs in her cell, getting hot water delivered through a hatch in the cell door and reading the Bible. In another, she writes about studying German and French, sharing her cell with three other inmates and being locked up for nearly 21 hours per day. Overall, however, the tone of the letters are hopeful and buoyant. “In a paradoxical way, it frees me up even more to say and do as I please because whatever I say or do, they have predetermined the outcome anyway, What a wonderful sense of freedom that gives me,” she wrote on June 5 to Paul Fromm. Details of Schaefer’s trial are being reported on by Michele Renouf, by way of Stolz. Renouf is an Australian-born British political activist known for her defence of Holocaust revisionists such as David Irving and Ernst Zündel, and has been characterized in mainstream sources as a Holocaust denier. She was reporting on the Schaefer trail second hand, according to her post, because she was concerned her appearance

in the public gallery would prompt the judge to interrupt the hearing to have her arrested, much like Schaefer herself was detained back in January. “Since February this year, I have been under criminal investigation having been charged with [incitement to hatred] which carries a five year custodial penalty,” Renouf writes. Renouf’s report of day one of the trial describes a handcuffed Schaefer and her brother exchanging a hug before proceedings began. Alfred was photographed giving /MONIKA SCHAEFER IN 2013. // FILE PHOTO the “Roman salute,” and refusing to stand in common sense input when, after she acknowledgement of the judges’ persisted that she and the public authority. Renouf describes Monika gallery could not hear the proceedings, insisting that the court microphones Judge Hofmann finally permitted be allowed to operate, a demand which microphones to operate,” Renouf was finally granted four hours after reported. judges ordered the microphones not Schaefer’s trial continues on August 12. be turned on. “Monika Schaefer achieved her

bob covey //


tuesday, may 1, 2018 // issue 120 // the jasper local// page B2

Local literature //

New climate“manifesto”suggests resilient Rockies offer a hopeful starting point Bob Sandford wants people to know there is hope for the environment.

The Canadian Rockies-based author is the Chair of the UN University Institute for Water Environment and Health and a senior policy advisor on global water issues for more than 30 heads of state.

“We have the means to mitigate. But we will need to deepen the conversation from what’s been looked at in the past.”

In these capacities he has witnessed first hand the deeply troubling policies coming out of the U.S. administration— Trump’s gutting of the Clean Air Act, his subsidizing the coal industry, the rollback of car emissions standards—all the while seeing carbon dioxide levels hit record levels. “We’re going in the wrong direction,” he says.

Despite these challenges, Sandford says the biggest threat to the world is despairing over them. Moreover, he says the best places to combat any sense of doom and gloom are where nature is still, for the most part, unbroken. In other words, right here at home.

“Canadians need to see the value in their intact systems,” he says. “To see how they offer resilience and how these places can help with the restoration of global systems that will moderate the affect of climate change.”

Sandford’s new book, The Hard Work of Hope: Climate Change in the Age of Trump, (Rocky Mountain Books) paints an admittedly bleak picture of the economic and social realities facing water, food, energy and biodiversity; however, it also seeks to develop effective solutions to the growing urgency for climate change action.


Wildfires, for example, have been increasing— not only in frequency, but in duration and intensity. In the big picture, these changes are related to the hydrological “global ocean”— Sandford says one of the reasons for last year’s record fire season in British Columbia is the loss of arctic sea ice slowing down the northern hemisphere jet stream, thus creating an extended high pressure system and ripening conditions for fire. In the forested landscape where Sandford calls home there is still ample opportunity to get things right, he insists. Although the threat of wildfire is on the rise on the macro level, at the micro level, there are tools at our disposal. One of those strategies is increased focus on prescribed burning. “I don’t think we need to be paranoid,” he says.

“We have the means to mitigate. But we will need to deepen the conversation from what’s been looked at in the past.” Sandford can go deep. His 150-page “manifesto” (co-authored by Jon O’Riordan) will attest to that. But he also wants to keep the science accessible. “We’re seeing these above normal and even record snowfalls here in the Bow Valley, followed by a rapid spring melt,” he says. “But that’s not nourishing the disappearing glaciers.” The key is to use that information accordingly. “We have to be honest with ourselves that these things are on the horizon,” he says. “The hard work is sticking with the science and the evidence and judging accordingly.” That’s the hard work. The hope is what we can see outside our front doors. bob covey //


page b3+B4 // the jasper local // issue 125 // sunday, july 15, 2018




It’s true! How long precisely depends on (you guessed it) mama grizzly. Just like when your aunt Sadie decided to dip her toe in the dating pool after that life-changing trip to Bali, often the kids get the boot when she decides to mate again. Big mama will produce milk up to three years and while for the first months the young grizzly cubs solely depends on her delicious milk (which is extremely rich: up to 33 per cent fat), the cubs begin eating solid food from an early age, imitating their mom’s main diet (unlike aunt Sadie that doesn’t include Triscuits and square “almost-cheese,” but rather plants, berries, insects and meat). Similar to when you were found in the curling rink parking lot at 1:45 a.m., these little cubs are born naked (no fur), blind and helpless. Remarkably, they only weigh about one pound. This all happens in the den. While mother grizzly continues to hibernate, her cubs will nurse—all the while with their eyelids still sealed shut. The cubs are typically born in January or February and by spring they have fur and teeth and can open their eyes and are ready to go an adventure. The cubs will grow fast—one cub will drink about 45 ounces of milk per day (peak time is in June and July). That means a lot of milk to produce for mama bear. Soon they outgrow mother’s ability to produce enough milk and she will need to provide external food for them. By now they’re around 20 pounds. She will still nurse them, but less frequently. Grizzly cubs are extremely dependent on mom and mother grizzly is fiercely protective of her cubs – protecting them from predators like wolves, cougars, and adult male grizzlies (who will kill the cubs to mate with the sow). The little cubs learn survival skills, like how to find food, how to make a shelter and how to protect themselves in dangerous situations. Grizzly bears’ diet consists of plants (grass, roots, berries

and fruits, insects and meat) and the cubs stay with mom for two to three years, at which time mother grizzly is ready to mate again.

“Mom turned around and met her cubs in the middle of the river. They touched noses when they met. It was amazing to watch.“ -Photographer Simone Heinrich



, buffalo berry chasing Last August, Jasper photographer Simone Heinrich found this grizzly family feasting on an elk carcass. They dined for almost two weeks! This year–as you can see—they look healthy

and strong. Heinrich was watching mama grizzly hunting baby elk a few weeks ago, when suddenly she witnessed the mother elk and her young one making a swim for it. They were trying to escape the bears by crossing the Athabasca river while the grizzly mother swam in pursuit behind them. A little terrifying, perhaps? The elk were quick to cross and escaped. When mother grizzly reached the other side she heard her cubs crying across the river. Simone said she could see them starting to swim towards mom. “Mom turned around and met her cubs in the middle of the river. They touched noses when they met and they all drifted in the river until reaching land again. It was amazing to watch.” River crossings can be hazardous for newborn cubs (Heinrich has seen them clawing on to mom on her back) but by the second summer they are ready for the big water.

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page B5 // the jasper local // issue 120 // tuesday, may 1, 2018

Local education //

Live small, love big: Leading edge educator calls it a career Paulette Trottier was 17 years old when she came to Jasper from Edmonton for a job as a waitress in 1973. She was eight months from completing her teaching degree when she had her first of two daughters in 1978, after which she dedicated her time to being a mom. After her oldest child turned nine, Paulette picked up where she left off, earning her degree and getting a job teaching elementary school in Jasper. And for as long as her former students and colleagues continue to flourish, that gift to the community will continue to give. In the one-room managers’ quarters at the Maligne Canyon hostel hangs a photograph of a little girl running across the lawn outside the Jasper National Park Information Centre. The photo is from 1957. Outside of the hostel, next to the bubbling Maligne River, a pathway leads to a quaint sitting area. Flowers and the occasional wind chime adorn the serene space. As birds chatter overhead and dragonflies buzz ‘round, the subject of that faded photo steps through the greenery and into a patch of sunlight to greet her guest. Her flowing hair, parted in the middle, falls over her shoulders and halfway down her lavender sundress. “Welcome,” she says, extending her arms. Mme. Paulette Trottier is 61-years removed from when the photo inside the house was taken, but since she moved permanently to Jasper more than 40 years ago, she’s lived only 12 kilometres away from where it was snapped. While her partner Volker has been the primary care-taker of the hostel, introducing guests from all over the world to the wonders of the Canadian Rockies, Paulette has fashioned a remarkable career as an educator, kindling the curiosity of countless young minds and showing her students the simple beauty of living small. “I show them it’s a choice,” she says. “That small doesn’t mean poor, that it doesn’t mean less.” As such, although she lives with a light footprint, Paulette’s impact on the community has been profound. After all, not only has she taught two generations of Jasperites—in several cases teaching

the sons and daughters of her earliest pupils—but she’s been a vocal advocate for francophone language and culture in Jasper schools; empowered children’s empathy through her Kids Helping Kids program; and 14 years ago, took the lead in introducing French Immersion to Jasper. “You have been a relationship builder, a confidant, leader, mentor and friend,” fellow teacher Kathryn Howe said during Mme. Paulette’s retirement party. Today, as she reflects on her life’s vocation, Mme. Paulette is grateful TIMELESS //MME PAULETTE TROTTIER IN HER HAPPY PLACE. / B COVEY that she’s been able to call pursuing her passion a career. And her teaching was ahead of its time, according to “We were living, learning, playing, her colleagues. Kathryn Howe recalled that Paulette’s imagining and creating all day long,” she says, lessons in environmental education, Indigenous brushing a mosquito from her ankle. “I couldn’t studies and outdoor ed were leading edge at a time imagine anything better.” when those subjects weren’t in the lesson plans of Well, maybe one thing: being a mom has been the most important thing in her life. Mme. Paulette beams most educators. when she talks about her two daughters, each of whom “She was a leader [in those subjects] years before the rest of us realized we should be doing it too,” Howe now occupy their own trajectories in mountain towns said. not far from Jasper. Certainly their upbringing was unique: raised in the wood stove-heated, propane In recent semesters, although her energy to teach lamp-lit hostel, the family got by with no running water hasn’t waned, when she comes home, Paulette is tired. and no electricity. They hauled their water from town She knows it’s time to take a step back. Although and when the girls became teenagers, they showered she still plans to make the occasional appearance at friends’ homes and in the swimming pool changeas a substitute at Jasper Elementary School, this rooms of friendly hotels. To Paulette and Volker, it September Paulette will make more time for riding her wasn’t a burden but a way of life. bike around Lake Annette. In the winter, rather than “What I really embraced was the opportunity of living worry about the icy road into town, she and Volker will spend more time walking on the frozen river to look for in a little house with a big backyard,” Paulette said. hummingbird nests. She will read more. She will have Throughout the years, her students saw that Mme. more time to listen to her beloved francophone music. Paulette walked the walk. Several times each year, And she’ll cherish the memories. Paulette would host a field trip to her home at the hostel, allowing her class to soak in the natural “I’m going to miss all that love,” she said about the surroundings before applying what they saw to their building she’s gone to work at for more than three curriculum. decades. “But I also know that everything happens in its own time.” “When we’re here we’re feeling, smelling and tasting,” Paulette said. “The teaching comes before and after the bob covey // field trip.”

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local lifestyle //

sunday, july 15, 2018 // issue 125 // the jasper local// page B6

Finding football fever in an otherwise aloof atmosphere As I write this piece about my love of football (it’s a game you play with your feet and a ball, so get used to this terminology for this article), I have just come down

from watching a rather boring semifinal match between Belgium and France. I was very much in favour of Belgium, a squad that’s typically so strong on paper, but who on pitch are often missing a beat. It would have been so fulfilling to see them make the final but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I did not watch Belgium-France on live TV; and this may have been the first time I was able to view a recorded match without previously knowing the score. What an incredibly trying task to maintain a World Cup cone of silence! No word of mouth, no social media, and no sports updates! I could barely pull it off living here in Western Canada and I know that had I been in a bigger Canadian city, or literally any tiny village in Europe or South America, there would be no chance whatsoever to live in such a vacuum. To do so, I had to beg my brother not to text me scores or any match-related commentary. I was deathly afraid as I walked down Patricia Street to a local shop, fearing the potential sight of either an ecstatic Belgian or a joyful Frenchman, thus ruining the match for me before I had time to watch it for myself.

Many of my life’s memories are more easily recalled according to where I was during various World Cups. I remember how I got laid off from a job while living in Ottawa a few days before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I was crushed for a few hours, until I realized I //GOOOOOOOAL! ENGLAND SUPPORTERS WERE HAPPY TO BE IN THE SEMI knew I could watch virtually FINALS BUT ULIMATELY LEFT THIS LOCAL WATERING HOLE DISAPPOINTED. // BC every match thereafter! I can recite many scores from that the Whistle Stop Pub was my Maybe this was because people are the 2006 World Cup hosted preferred football viewing spot. more distracted by the natural beauty in Germany because I was there! Maybe it was because they made a found here and that folks are simply However, I can’t recall the scoring bit of an effort by taping a handful in vacation mode. Maybe it’s the vast with the same precise detail as other of World Cup country flags in their difference between our time zone and World Cups thanks to an ample windows, but more likely because it’s a amount of delicious German beer and Russia’s (I was up at 6 a.m. to catch favourite haunt of mine that’s in close its foggy affect on my footy memories. my tournament-favourite Denmark versus Australia). By the same token, proximity to my job. During my brief This being my second summer living I was quite surprised to not see any lunch breaks I could scoot over and in Jasper, I was quite excited to German flags flapping from RVs, but order a cran-soda while catching a experience the World Cup out in the solid 25 minutes of game time before Rockies and make some fun memories I chalk that up to a stunned German team finishing a disappointing fourth having to hustle back to work. It from it. made me laugh yet hurt a bit, hearing place in their group. At my place of Hailing from the greater shadow of one of their bartenders complaining work, in my best Deutsch accent, Toronto, where during the World Cup about having to work during World I said “entschuldigung” (sorry) to there are nearly the same amount Cup matches. He overemphasized my German colleagues after their of car flags as drivers’ licences held, country was shocked one-nil in their his distaste of football by saying; I expected things here would be opening match with a feisty Mexican “Hey look! This is more exciting different for my World Cup viewing side. Later that day I encountered a than soccer,” as he placed a melting experience. But I didn’t realize to what few Mexican ex-pats and was quick ice cube on the bar and sarcastically degree. In fact, I was rather jaded that to congratulate them. Only in such watched it slowly melt. I should’ve more people in Jasper didn’t seem a diverse Canada can you be saying yellow carded him for his boisterous to care about the World Cup. As a sorry to one group of fans for their candour. Hopefully I see some more destination town that caters to so loss, and congratulating the opposing jerseys and flags in four years time many Europeans, I found the lack of fans the next hour. here in Jasper. football jerseys and flags surprising. Early on in the tournament I decided adam hvisc //

The Jasper Local July 15, 2018  

Parks officials on hot seat after dump fire during fire ban; ATCO transmission line approved by Parks; Monika Schaefer's letters from prison...

The Jasper Local July 15, 2018  

Parks officials on hot seat after dump fire during fire ban; ATCO transmission line approved by Parks; Monika Schaefer's letters from prison...