EDMONTON, AB (October 19, 2012): A day after releasing a report calling on Transportation Minister Ric McIver to commit to a firm timeline for twinning Highway 63, Wildrose MLAs Drew Barnes and Shayne Saskiw today applauded the PC government for following its recommendations.
McIver today promised Highway 63 will be twinned by the fall of 2016, more than a decade after the project was first announced in February of 2006. “This is terrific news for Albertans and it shows what an effective opposition can accomplish,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “After years of dragging their feet, the PC government has finally followed our lead and committed to a firm timeline to complete the twinning of Highway 63.” The report from Saskiw and Barnes was the culmination of months of pressure from Wildrose to commit to a twinning timeline for Highway 63. It was accompanied by a letter signed by the leader and all members of the Wildrose caucus urging immediate action on accelerated resources, a progress plan and completion date. Saskiw said the Wildrose Official Opposition will work hard to hold the PCs accountable to the Highway 63 commitment they announced today. “Only after several tragedies and public pressure from local stakeholders and Wildrose did the government finally commit to a firm twinning timeline,” Saskiw said. “Twinning Highway 63 is not just a northern Alberta issue—its safety and effectiveness is of utmost importance because of the provincial, national and global impact and significance of the region it serves. This is just the first step. Now we will work just as hard to make sure the timeline is adhered to and Alberta motorists will have a fully twinned Highway 63 by the fall of 2016, as promised.” Barnes, the Wildrose Transportation Critic, said the government still needs to table their infrastructure priority list. “This is a good first step towards addressing Alberta’s infrastructure backlog based on need and not politics,” Barnes said. INFOGRAPHIC: Highway 63: A road too long?