Here are some of the comments that Premier Alison Redford said about Highway 63 on May 22. The journalists who were present asked the tough questions that many of us have been asking for a long time. Read what Premier Redford had to say and tell us what you think in the comments section below.
On Doug Horner’s “we’re going as fast as we can”
Journalist: Was acceleration always the plan? Because Doug Horner was very very cautious when asked about this after that major accident. It seemed to be that the province was going as fast as it could already. When did acceleration become the main focus?
Premier Redford: Well regardless of what people may have said that weekend, I know what my plan always was since I’m commenting on it now.
On caribou, pipeline, muskeg, and other previously cited barriers to construction
Journalist: Now all the issues the province has pointed to in terms of caribou, pipeline, the muskeg – how are those issues going to suddenly be overcome when they have been pointed to as major barriers?
Premier Redford: Well I think they are still challenges. We still have environmental concerns that we need to deal with. My view is that the way we can address those is to have a focused effort to do it and I’m very confident that we’ll be able to do it. What you’ll see in the next six weeks is a very intense dialogue with Mike and community stakeholders to identify where some of those challenges are. There will certainly be challenges, you know, even just your typical construction of this project. Is it something we’re going to be able to accomplish in 12 months? I think people are realistic about that. But what you’re seeing is a commitment to not identifying barriers, but overcoming barriers.
On examining the slow progress over the past six years
Journalist: Will the report be looking back as to why –
Premier Redford: No, it’s a plan for the future. I’m not going to spend the next four years with this government looking back over the past six or ten years. I am very pleased to be the premier of this province. I ran on an agenda that was forward looking, that was about making things better for the people in Alberta. There’s nothing to be gained by doing that. What we need is a plan to commit to today to move ahead with.
On first responders
Journalist: Are there going to be increased resources available to first responders?
Premier Redford: Well I think that’s all going to be part of what we see in the next six weeks.
You can listen to the full press conference here, which includes remarks from Mayor Melissa Blake and MLA Mike Allen.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.