Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips File photo from THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips File photo from THE CANADIAN PRESS

Bighorn Country telephone town hall for Red Deer area set for Wednesday

Residents can phone in from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hear about the project or ask questions

A telephone town hall aimed at Red Deer area residents on the province’s controversial Bighorn Country proposal takes place Wednesday night.

The telephone town halls were announced after Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips dropped a series of in-person meetings after claiming provincial staff had been harassed in connection with the project.

She called two of the events “serious.”

RCMP have said they have no investigations underway, but acknowledged they had been contacted by some residents concerned about social media interactions about the initiative.

The first telephone town hall was to reach out to the Drayton Valley and Sundre areas and was to run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Red Deer’s town hall will also run 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. An Edmonton town hall will take place at the same time Jan. 24.

To participate in the town hall, dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter code 115500#.

Callers can listen in or ask their own questions.

When announcing the town halls, the government said 30,000 people had already been reached through public engagement, including municipalities, recreation groups, small businesses and industrial operators.

To get more feedback, the government extended the consultation period to Feb. 15.

“Albertans are deeply passionate about the Bighorn, one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth,” said Phillips in a statement last week.

“We continue to listen to Albertans’ feedback and hope you will bring your passion and knowledge to the table as we work together to build a plan that will ensure the region is enjoyed for generations to come.”

Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon has been critical of the government’s handling of Bighorn and has called for Phillips to resign.

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