Turbulent battle as Golden, B.C., fights to save local river rafting industry

By The Canadian Press
April 5, 2016 - 3:25pm

GOLDEN, B.C. — Tourism officials in the southeastern B.C., town of Golden say letters of support are flooding in as they fight for access to the Kicking Horse River.

Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) has stopped guided rafting tours from crossing its tracks to reach the river’s Lower Canyon and a stretch of world-renowned rapids.

CP Rail cites safety concerns and Tourism Golden executive director Joanne Sweeting says the railway has told stakeholders that it is not willing to find a solution.

She says rafting companies and the tourism association believe closure of the canyon damages Canada’s reputation as a wilderness destination where citizens have freedom to use public lands.

Sweeting says her organization has faith that CP will allow access to the Lower Canyon by the May long weekend, in time for the Golden Mountain Festival, which she says is dedicated to celebrating rivers and wetlands.

Tourism Golden says 40,000 people raft the Kicking Horse River annually and river rafting is one of the town’s major summer tourism draws.

The Canadian Press

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