Photograph by Bryant Avery
Written by Nicole Auser
We are starting to see some movement on Highway 63:
Just two weeks ago there was not a single piece of machinery working on the highway. As of today, drivers have reported that construction crews are at work.
Although we’ve heard mixed reports of drivers slowing down, Ashley St. Croix (an organizer of the protest rally) has had local companies tell her that they’ve implemented strict policies for company vehicles. One company said that any employee caught speeding in a company vehicle will be terminated on their first offence.
We have also heard mixed reviews of RCMP presence. Immediately before and after the protest rally, officers were out in full force and they caught hundreds of speeders and it was all over the news. Let’s remember that there are optics surrounding this issue – mainly the RCMP had to make sure that the public knew they were present on the road. However, let’s hope we see the increased patrols continue indefinitely until drivers get the message to slow down!
A public response from provincial politicians has been limited. Premier Redford said that new Transportation Ric McIver will make the twinning a priority, yet the government has not made any solid commitments. Further, we are disappointed by what Ric McIver has said since:
“There’s a lot of high priorities in transportation. And depending upon where you live in Alberta, your high priority is probably very close to where you live and work. So all Albertans are important, and will have to be considered as we set priorities.” - Ric McIver via Edmonton Journal article
A few days ago, there were rumblings on Twitter from CTV News that Ric McIver would be driving on Highway 63, however we have not heard anything further.
Local MLAs Don Scott and Mike Allen attended the protest rally and addressed the crowd, ensuring that the twinning of Highway 63 is at the top of their agenda.
All in all, we are starting to see some action. However, once the media scrutiny dies down, it will be easy for the government to ignore our region again. We must continue to put pressure on the government to ensure this action continues indefinitely!
Please attend the Gathering outside the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Twin 63 Movement on May 24 at 2:00 p.m.