Balance, please

There’s something to every point of view. There’s also quite a lot to be said for considering a range of views on any subject, so as to arrive at a more balanced perspective.

Take the tourism situation in the Lesser Slave area. Some people are constantly claiming that – “it sucks,” or words to that effect. People aren’t coming. Nobody knows about Lesser Slave Lake. It’s still ‘Alberta’s Best Kept Secret,’ and so on.

The beach is a disgrace, the roads are keeping people away, facilities aren’t numerous enough or good enough. The provincial park and its rules are a big obstacle to tourism development…. On it goes.

And then you talk to the campground people. ‘We’re full!’ ‘We’ve got a waiting list a mile long!’ And: ‘People love it here. We’ve got lots of repeat customers from the city.’ ‘The marina is packed,’ and ‘the boat launch is constantly in use.’

And so on.

Real difficulties do occur. An example (reported elsewhere in this paper) is a conflict between tourism and other industrial use of roads. Busy times in industry can mean a drop in business for a campground, if the road is damaged. If the road is good, it must mean industrial traffic is absent, which is not good for other reasons.

Then there’s the built-in dilemma that underlies all talk about increasing tourist traffic. It’s good for business, but brings all sorts of other things a lot of people don’t like.

So on the whole…. Growth may be good, but slow growth may be preferable than fast growth.

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