Rally planned to support tourist industry following oil leak
A public rally will be held in Sundre on July 30 as a show of support for the local tourism industry following the June 7 Plains Midstream oil leak on the Red Deer River.
Sundre and District Chamber of Commerce president Sherry Tytkanych says local rafting companies and others have received calls from potential visitors expressing concerns about the oil leak.
“The whitewater rafting (companies) are being affected because everyone is hearing that there’s an oil spill in Sundre and they are scared to come out here because it’s the river,” said Tytkanych.
“And that’s going to have a ripple effect because there are campgrounds on the river, so are people still going to want to bring their families up here? So tourism in general is going to be affected. And we’ve already seen some of that.”
Hundreds of thousands of litres of sour crude oil spilled into the Red Deer River just downstream of Sundre. Plains Midstream has spent more than 100,000 man-hours so far cleaning up the mess.
The July 30 noon-hour rally outside the Sundre and District Pioneer Village Museum is being spearheaded by the chamber and Wild Rose MP Blake Richards.
“The Sundre area has and offers many first-class recreational opportunities. We’re seeking to get the word out that local tourism attractions are open for business,” said Richards.
Chamber President Tytkanych added: “We are blessed to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Alberta. We need to let people know that this has not changed.”
Both Richards and Tytkanych are expected to address the rally starting at 12:15.
Following the rally, organizers and local dignitaries are scheduled to take a raft ride under the Highway 27 bridge on boats provided by a local rafting company.
Organizers have invited media outlets from across Alberta to send representatives to the rally.