The COVID-19 pandemic and oil price collapse have dealt a double whammy to Alberta’s economy, leading to the largest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Premier Jason Kenney has been outspoken about the need for Alberta to be bold, take action, and make strategic investments now so that our province emerges from this crisis stronger than ever.
It’s why one of the first actions our government took was to double capital maintenance and renewal spending for 2020, and accelerate over $1 billion to fix our roads, bridges, hospitals and schools faster. This approach ensured we got money out the door immediately, and will help create 3,000 much-needed jobs for Albertans.
Now, our government is taking the next step to support Alberta’s economic recovery by working with communities throughout the province to tackle their much-needed road and bridge construction projects.
Our government is significantly increasing new investment in municipal infrastructure programs, like the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), to fix and build needed roads and bridges in small and rural communities across Alberta.
We have announced approximately $50 million in additional STIP funding to support almost 70 new projects and over 475 badly-needed jobs, boosting our economic recovery and getting Albertans back to work.
In the County of Big Lakes, the government has allocated $889,500 for bridge replacements in the community. On the East Prairie Metis Settlement, we gave $3,223,835 for the reconstruction of McKinley or Baker road to improve drainage and give reliable access for school buses and emergency vehicles. We also sent $975,000 to Gift Lake Metis Settlement for a bridge replacement and other work.
Our government will also be investing $150 million in water infrastructure grants that will support 55 water and wastewater improvement projects and approximately 1,300 jobs.
Once again, the Gift Lake Metis Settlement was given $1,875,000 for a Wastewater Lagoon, which will create 9 jobs in the community. East Prairie Metis Settlement was given $638,000 for Water Treatment Upgrades, which will give 3 jobs to the community.
This additional investment will support the province’s economic recovery and create jobs while ensuring smaller, rural municipalities have the infrastructure they need to grow sustainably.
Pat Rehn, MLA Lesser Slave Lake