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PC regional plan will harm southern Alberta communities

EDMONTON, AB (March 20, 2013): Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition demanded that the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) not compel southern Alberta communities to join the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP) against their will, to immediately provide area communities safe and stable access to water without needing to first sign on to the CMP, and to provide a estimate of how much it will cost to implement the SSRP for paying full, fair and timely compensation to the landowners it adversely affects. 

 In Question Period today, Wildrose Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson said that the SSRP, along with a legislated CMP, will deny communities like Airdrie and Rocky View their autonomy and force them to build “stack ‘em and pack ‘em” communities with small lots and crowded neighborhoods. “To the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Will you commit that you will not legislatively compel any community to join the CRP, nor force them to build to the CRP’s minimum density requirement of 8 units per acre?” Anderson asked. Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths refused to make that commitment. Anderson also raised the concern that many southern Alberta communities have over water access. They fear water for new businesses and residents is going to be used as a pressure point to enter into the CMP. “Access to water is a right, not a bargaining chip Minister,” Anderson said.Wildrose Sustainable Resource Development Critic Pat Stier said many landowners are concerned that they will not be able to receive full, fair and timely compensation under the government’s master regional plan for the South Saskatchewan region. “With 19 leases for oil and gas companies cancelled under the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, many businesses are worried about what the compensation formula will be under this centralized regional plan,” Stier said.  “It’s time for this government to be open and up front about what the true cost will be for many southern Albertans by implementing this centralized plan.”