Edmund Aunger recently wrote to the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald about the lack of action by the Alberta government to complete the Alberta portions of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). He also decries the attention that government is prepared to give to the OHV lobby despite studies that indicate that Albertans want hiking, not OHV, trails. Aunger is currently cycling across Canada on the TCT in an effort to honour his wife, a keen supporter of the TCT, who was killed in 2012 when forced off an uncompleted section of the TCT onto a highway in P.E.I. You can follow is adventures at http://www.ridethetrail.ca.
Alberta TrailNet Society is actively involved in pushing for the completion of the TCT. However, it faces a number of issues: the lack of clear direction and support for trail development in the white (private) areas of the province by the Municipal Government Act; the lack of organized groups willing to help operate trails in these areas; and the lack of sustainable funding to help groups develop and operate trails. At the heart of this issue, says Linda Strong-Watson, Executive Director of the society, is rural landowner opposition to trails and rural area municipal politics. However, the society has noticed that these attitudes are changing. “Now we just need a provincial trail program to help fund and support the development of trails.”