The new provincial government deserves credit for making a good decision based on good information, says Alberta Party Opposition Leader Greg Clark.
“I’ve been advocating for significant upstream mitigation since before I was even an MLA, so it’s good to see it finally going ahead,” said Clark. “When I met with Premier Notley and Minister Phillips I asked them to review the data and make a decision based on that. I’m pleased they did just that. They’ve done their homework and made a good decision based on good data.
“If the former government thought Springbank is the right project and the current government think it’s the right project, it’s the right project.”
Clark added that landowners in Springbank must be dealt with fairly, but said the project is clearly in the public interest and should proceed quickly.
“It is important that landowners are treated with respect and within the bounds of the law,” said Clark. “But a balance must be struck. A small number of landowners shouldn’t be able to unduly delay protection for downtown Calgary, the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on downtown to make a living and the thousands of people living in river communities.”
“I encourage the provincial government to use all of the tools at their disposal to expedite this project.”
Clark called for the province to revisit the floodway buyout program.
“Now that mitigation has been announced the province should re-sell at least some of the buyout properties,” said Clark. “This will recover tens of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on the initial buyout and make river communities whole again.”
The Bow River working group also has an important task, including consideration of drought mitigation options and overall watershed management, said Clark.
“Flooding on the Bow River must also be addressed, and some options include water storage to address drought risk,” said Clark. “The Bow River working group should work quickly to consider drought, flood and overall watershed management.
“In the meantime I encourage the province to come up with a long-term negotiated agreement with TransAlta to use existing dam infrastructure to mitigate future floods.”
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Alberta Party Caucus