Bill Longstaff: Alberta politicos hedge on flood mitigation

After the great flood in Calgary last year, municipal and provincial governments agreed something had to be done to prevent another such catastrophe. There were, however, no shortage of sceptics. There would be bold promises initially, they said, but the commitments would wane with time, people would start to forget, and much less would be ...

Bill Longstaff: I participate in an historic event

For my first posting in seven months, I can hardly do better than comment on my participation in a truly historic event. I not only observed but became a fully-fledged, if highly reluctant, participant. The event I refer to is the greatest flood in Alberta’s history, perhaps in Canada’s history, the great flood of 2013. ...

Bill Longstaff: A paean to the Elbow River

Last Friday I attended a ceremony that involved giving thanks that fit nicely with the Thanksgiving weekend. It was, in fact, an offering ceremony, conducted by a Blackfoot elder and his assistant. In 2008, our community association petitioned The City of Calgary to name a picturesque little park in our neighbourhood “Mok’nstsis.” The word is ...

Bill Longstaff: Calgary’s RiverWalk gains international recognition

Two main ideas contend for how rivers should be treated as they flow through cities. One says they should be left as natural as possible, bordered by grass and trees and unobtrusive pathways. The other says they should be urbanized with paved walks, viewpoints and other urban amenities. Personally, I believe it depends on the ...