Ring road deal could be on the horizon
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012 6:52AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:38AM MDT
A deal to make the southwest Calgary ring road a reality could be closer than most of us think.
Stirring about a possible deal came from Chief Sanford Big Plume of the Tsuu T’ina First Nation during his interview about the expansion of the Grey Eagle Casino announced yesterday.
Big Plume says that talks are going well and moving forward under the new Redford government. “Is it a better deal? It fits what we have been asking. Yes, there has been some discussion and yes it will be taken to the community once council has gone over the deal to see if it fits what we need. Everything is on what we need, not what they need.”
Big Plume has been in talks with Premier Alison Redford and Transportation Minister Ric McIver.
McIver says that talks are ongoing but it’s not done until it’s done.
A deal about the road was struck down in 2009 but, last year, the band voted to open up talks again.
Former Premier Ed Stelmach said that he wanted to have a deal approved on the road by the time his term was up, but that was not to be.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi believes that the solution has been clear for a long time. "The right answer for the southwest ring road is the Tsuu T'ina option. So we're very hopeful we can come up with a deal that works with everyone."
Tsuu T'ina sources say there are two sticking points with the 2009 agreement which was voted down.
The proposed land transfer of thousands of acres in exchange for the ring road wasn't guaranteed and nor was access to the reserve from the ring road.
Mayor Nenshi says these are solvable problems and that the deal is within the province's grasp.
The southwest ring road would connect the northwest ring road to the south, cutting right through Tsuu T’ina land.