Rocks thrown at city workers building controversial fence in affluent Calgary community

CALGARY – A battle brewing in Britannia over changes to an iconic vista has reportedly escalated to the point where angry residents pelted City of Calgary employees with rocks.

Workers are in the process of erecting a fence along the so-called ‘Britannia slopes,’ located along Britannia Drive S.W. The construction is part of a $6-million remediation project underway in the affluent community, which includes improvements to Sandy Beach and River Park.

The City of Calgary is building the fence to help stop erosion along the hill, and protect visitors from the steep slope.

“The remediation of the Britannia slopes needed to be addressed,” wrote Britannia Community president Tim Taylor in the community’s fall newsletter. “You couldn’t help but notice the braiding of the pathways above the ridge as more and more people enjoyed this special place.”

However, some residents are unhappy with the fence, saying it’s too tall and obstructs the view for those seated on area benches.

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“As it stands now, the upper rail is exactly at eye level when sitting on the benches,” complained past-president of the Britannia Community Association Karen Paul in the newsletter.

The issue has become so divisive it apparently led to vandalism and the assault of city employees.

“I was recently contacted by our Calgary Police liaison officer, Matt Forest, regarding harassment of City employees working on the remediation of the Britannia slopes,” explained Taylor.

“Constable Forest and board members have been informed of rocks being thrown at workers and their equipment, unkind and inappropriate words spoken to City employees, and of vandalism and graffiti.”

Taylor warned residents that police are hoping the situation won’t escalate to the point where charges have to be laid.

“Please… help us and work with us as we try to remember, and implement, the spirit of community and neighbourliness,” added Taylor.

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