MEDICINE HAT, AB (September 26, 2013): Today, Wildrose Infrastructure and Transportation Critic Drew Barnes set out on a province-wide tour to meet with local officials and stakeholders to further understand how PC politicization of infrastructure spending and broken promises on particular projects has impacted communities.
Barnes will hit 15 communities over six days in order to gain a better understanding of local infrastructure priorities. Province-wide, many critical infrastructure projects face ongoing uncertainty and delays due to the PC government’s poor planning and politicization of infrastructure spending, Barnes said. “The PC government’s politicization of infrastructure spending has caused uncertainty on the ground regarding when and where projects will be built,” Barnes said. “The government needs to step up and finally release a prioritized infrastructure list so Albertans aren’t left hanging as to when they can expect critical priorities to be addressed.” Barnes also said he wants to hear firsthand from local officials what their communities need. “I hope to tap into local expertise and come away from this tour with a detailed picture of their priorities,” Barnes said. “This would be the first step in prioritizing infrastructure projects on a province-wide scale.” Wherever possible, Barnes will also make a point of visiting flood-damaged infrastructure during the tour to learn where rebuilding efforts fit in with other infrastructure priorities. Leader Danielle Smith will tour Barnes through flooded areas around High River. “As the government in waiting, it is critical that the Official Opposition develop the best understanding possible of local and regional infrastructure priorities,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “I am delighted to have Drew out on the road assessing firsthand the province’s infrastructure needs, and I look forward to his report back to caucus on what he saw and heard.” Wildrose committed to taking politics out of infrastructure spending and publishing an infrastructure priority list in the 10-Year Debt-Free Capital Plan in response to the PC government’s Back in Debt budget. Schedule: Week One Thursday, Sept. 26: Medicine Hat, Hidden Valley Friday, Sept. 27: High River, Calgary Week Two Monday, Sept. 30: Elk Point, Two Hills, St. Paul, Lac La Biche Tuesday, Oct. 1: Fort McMurray Wednesday, Oct. 2: Whitecourt, Valleyview, Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge Thursday, Oct. 3: Stony Plain, Morinville, Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park, Leduc