The fight to keep the lower canyon open for white water rafters is continuing

The fight to keep the lower canyon open for white water rafters is continuing

Lower Canyon saved

CP and local stakeholders have come to an agreement to keep access to the Lower Canyon open when the rafting season begins next month.

After weeks of negotiations and a rally cry that stretched across the country and around the world, the Golden rafting industry got the news they had hoped for this morning.

Canadian Pacific and local white water rafting stakeholders have agreed to a resolution to keep the Lower Canyon portion of the Kicking Horse River open.

The details of that resolution aren’t clear as of yet, but it will allow for rafting on the Lower Canyon when the rafting season begins next month.

We are very pleased that, starting this May Long Weekend, we will have rafters floating through the heart of our community, the Kicking Horse River, following a thrilling ride through this incredible stretch of whitewater, and that we are now looking towards a long-term solution to address the access to the Lower Canyon for river users,” said Oszust. “We all agree, at the heart of all of this is safety. CP Rail is committed to safety along its rail corridor.”

The agreement from CP represents a significant turnaround from their previous stance regarding the issue, with the company stating that there was no solution that could be found as recently as last month.

Local stakeholders and CP came to the agreement at a meeting this morning.

In previous summers, rafters have had to cross railway tracks at an unmarked crossing in order to access the Lower Canyon portion of the Kicking Horse River. This portion of the river is seen as the crown jewel of Golden’s rafting industry, bringing in thousands of tourists every year.

This has been a long and tiring battle, but we are grateful to have a resolution,” said Ryan Johannesen, owner of Glacier Rafting, one of six rafting companies to operate on the river. “It’s time to get busy for our season opening on May 21.

We are very grateful to our community and to people from around the world who showed their interest in this incredible stretch of the river. This was always about more than just protecting a portion of our business; it was about ensuring access for all river users to a wonderful recreational opportunity.”

Public support to keep access to this portion of the river open has been immense, from local stakeholders and politicians to a letter of support from Senator Nancy Greene.

All levels of government came together to work on this issue,” said Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski. “We all met to try to find a solution. We reached out to our contacts, and approached anyone we thought might be able to help. It was an easy story to tell, and people immediately agreed with the community of Golden that losing access to the Lower Canyon was simply not an option.”

Present at today’s meeting were representatives of two provincial ministries: The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

I have to particularly thank Minister Shirley Bond and Minister Todd Stone for their assistance to the community,” said Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald. “The level of support that we have received from these ministers and their staff has been exceptional.

The province will be an integral part of the long-term solution in the years ahead. Their commitment to ensuring the viability of this important tourism product, and the tremendous economic benefit it brings to our region, is very clear, and for that we are grateful.”

A planned “Save the Lower Canyon” rally on April 30 will now be a celebration of the river and the industry’s importance to Golden.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Cases continue to climb in B.C amid a third wave of COVID-19. (Omar Marques/AP photo)
Physicians of Golden warn of third wave

Cases continue to climb provincially

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 centimetres of snow on the Coquihalla Highway Friday, April 9, 2021. (File photo)
Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 cm of snow to fall on the Coquihalla Friday

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Penticton Christian School. (Facebook)
COVID-19 exposure at South Okanagan independent school

The exposures are the latest in a quickly growing list in the Interior

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Bart and Tracey Larson enjoying a Begbie Cream Ale. The couple have been together for 40 years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
The art of really good beer: Revelstoke brewery celebrates 25 years

Mt. Begbie Brewery owners Bart and Tracey Larson reflect on their company’s history

Most Read