Tsuu T'ina members approve ring road plan
Andrea MacLean, CTV Calgary
Published Friday, October 25, 2013 6:43AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2013 6:30PM MDT
After decades of debate, the southwest ring road has cleared a massive hurdle.
Tsuu T’ina members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the provincial proposal. Of the 933 people who cast their ballot, 644 approved the deal.
The Nation will transfer 1,058 acres of land to Alberta for the new transportation corridor.
In exchange, the province will pay $275 million to the band and $65.6 million for the replacement of lost nation housing, buildings and infrastructure and to improve existing roads in community.
Additionally, the province will provide 338.1 acres of new reserve land worth $44.4 million.
Overall, the deal is similar to the 2009 proposal that was rejected by band members. However, Tsuu T’ina Chief Roy Whitney said this deal included a guarantee absent from the previous plan.
“The language of the 2013 final agreement provided all Tsuu T’ina with the certainty we did not have in 2009 – that all of our compensation and that the deal for the roadway is guaranteed,” said Whitney.
"I'm very happy with the results of the referendum on the Tsuu T'ina Nation and the overwhelming support from the Nation. I really want to commend the members of the Nation and the leadership both former chief and current chief and councils," said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
As for the timeline for the project, Whitney says, “Alberta has an obligation to construct the opening day plan within 7 years of the date of the transfer of our nation lands to Alberta.”
People who live in the area say they’ll be happy to see the ring road completed.
“Glenmore and Crowchild Trail can be parking lots. The traffic congestion is horrible at certain times. So it will alleviate all that,” said one man.
“It’ll make the traffic flow north and south better than it does now because with Sarcee going onto Glenmore and around, it’s a bottle neck,” said another area resident.
For more information on the 2013 agreement, visit the Alberta Transportation website.
Map of plan for southwest Calgary ring road.