November 18, 2013
Barnes proposes a Better Way to Build Alberta
EDMONTON, AB (November 18, 2013): Today, Wildrose Official Opposition Infrastructure and Transportation Critic Drew Barnes released A Better Way to Build Alberta, a report outlining a better way to build and maintain infrastructure in Alberta. The report follows on the heels of a seven-day, province-wide tour to consult with stakeholders on provincial and regional infrastructure priorities.
A Better Way to Build Alberta offers 10 common sense recommendations to improve how infrastructure is prioritized, built, and paid for in Alberta, including recommendations on ending the politics of infrastructure, protecting taxpayers and future generations, securing economic growth and rebuilding after the flood. “For all the cheerleading about building Alberta, this PC government talks a big game but fails to deliver. Albertans are tired of press releases and photo ops, they want to see their infrastructure priorities met,” Barnes said. “There is a better way to build Alberta than the way it is currently done. I hope the government will implement the 10 common sense recommendations in this report to ensure provincial and regional infrastructure priorities are met in a timely manner.” In the report, Barnes recommends government conduct advance planning to meet the needs of tomorrow, as well as cost benefit analysis to ensure the economy isn’t stunted by degraded or inadequate infrastructure. Barnes also recommends ending the debt financing of P3s and using Design-Build procurements only when warranted by the facts on the ground. “Wherever I visited, the message is the same – infrastructure decision-making must be elevated to a higher standard,” Barnes said. “Albertans want politics out of infrastructure and overwhelmingly support the idea of a provincial infrastructure priority list based on objective criteria.” The report provides recommendations for rebuilding Alberta after Barnes visited flood damaged areas in Calgary, Hidden Valley, Fort McMurray and High River. In High River, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith showed Barnes the still unrepaired Holy Spirit Academy. “As the Official Opposition and the government-in-waiting, getting an on-the-ground look at the kinds of provincial and regional infrastructure priorities stakeholders and municipalities value is key to getting ahead of the needs of tomorrow,” Smith said. “This report is a big step towards creating a public prioritized project list based on objective criteria and getting PC politics out of infrastructure decisions.”