I totally support Everett Gratrix’s letter in the Aug. 16th issue of Sylvan Lake News. This letter develops the history of situations leading to the current tenuous future facing the permanent and summer residents of the Town of Sylvan Lake. The use of the word apologists re: previous letters of support for the actions of the politicians at all levels of government is very appropriate. What a situation when citizens have to apologize for the actions of politicians.
One of the apologists suggested those of us disgruntled by the actions and non-actions direct our “venom” specifically at the local MLA. Firstly, the opinions expressed are not hateful and spiteful as the term “venom” suggests, but merely common sense opinions of concerned citizens of Sylvan Lake.
As a summer resident not involved in the local provincial election, for me as an individual to take my concern to the Wildrose MLA’s desk would, if accepted, have no impact. However, although I haven’t voted in the local civic elections, but could, I expect the town council to leave no stone unturned in their efforts on my behalf as well as countless others to right the wrongs that have led to the current situation.
There is no doubt that no matter how you slice it, the local civic government is totally to blame for the downfall of this beautiful resort. For town council to accept the provincial government’s June announcement that nothing can be done to right the lake level this year is mystifying. If I were a councillor, and accepted this without protest and continued concerted effort to right this wrong, I would be very embarrassed.
Our apologist suggests that the ’50s development of Highway 11 along what became Lakeshore Drive was to act as a “dike” for the high level of this time. In reality, the upgrading of the highway through Sylvan Lake at this time was to complete development of the David Thompson tourist highway to Saskatchewan Crossing, to readily handle the increased tourist traffic.
Describing the lake level of the ’50s as “almost” as high as it is now leaves a lot of latitude regarding what is almost. In the late ’50s I would, during my noon hour break from my summer job in Red Deer, drive to Sylvan, park along Lakeshore Drive (then Highway 11) and go for a swim and suntan lying on a towel placed on the sand beach that was then available. However, the apologist can now realize his suggestion that the road was improved to act as a “dike”, in that 60 years later it actually is a “dike”.
It is unfortunate the realization that all the ills of Sylvan Lake could be cured by the immediate lowering of the lake level is not realized and acted upon. Hopefully, the coming winter will have little snow and/or glaciers will stop melting at their current alarming rate.