EDMONTON, AB (August 29, 2012): The southern Alberta town of Fort Macleod is now paying the price for the PC government’s ongoing fiscal incompetence and mismanagement after the abrupt cancellation of the Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Citing budget concerns, the government pulled the plug on the facility today despite having spent millions in planning and preparation, breaking ground on it more than a year ago and hiring a construction company to build it last month. “The government should be making spending promises based on a publicly disclosed infrastructure priority list that is based on objective criteria, rather than playing political games with communities and locally elected leaders,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “Given the size of the provincial deficit, perhaps this project needed to be delayed a year or two; but to cancel it altogether is wasteful and looks vindictive. Fort Macleod just had the rug pulled out from under it because this government can’t or won’t get its act together.” Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw questioned how Alberta’s future policing needs will be met without the facility in place. “We need to crack down on drunk drivers and put more boots on the ground to make major routes like Highway 63 safer,” Saskiw said. “If we aren’t training enough police and peace officers, we will continue to risk safety on our highways. Last month they were telling us how important this facility is and that it would train 1,400 new officers and provide professional development for another 1,200. Now they want us to believe existing facilities can handle all that?” Wildrose Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier said the government’s broken promise on the facility will have a lasting impact on the community. “This is devastating news for Fort Macleod and the entire region,” Stier said. “This government led us down a path, made us believe this facility was coming, told us how important it was, even announced a construction company and design firm, and just like that it’s all gone. I’m appalled and extremely disappointed.”