Tsuu T'ina chief blames province for failed road deal
Published Wednesday, July 15, 2009 5:17PM MDT
The chief of the Tsuu T'ina Nation says the province is to blame for the collapse of the ring road.
Chief Sanford Big Plume spoke out about the vote for the first time Wednesday.
He says the province changed the terms of the ring road deal after he shook hands with the premier and said the First Nation would support it.
"I was the one that lived up to that agreement," said Big Plume. "They didn't."
Big Plume blames concerns over the land swap language for pushing the majority of band members to vote down the deal.
The nation was offered two thousand hectares of land next to the reserve in exchange for the four hundred hectares needed to build the ring road.
If the land couldn't be acquired, the nation would get more money in exchange.
But Big Plume says the Tsuu T'ina wanted guarantees that Crown land would be acquired and given to the band.
He says his door is still open to more talks with the province.
But Tom Olsen, Premier Ed Stelmach's Director of Media Relations, says the province won't be renegotiating.
He denies the deal was changed and says the province gave the chief every assurance that the deal could be made.
Mayor Dave Bronconnier says the time for arm-twisting is over.
The city says it will move ahead with alternative plans to help commuters in southwest Calgary get around, including upgrading Glenmore Trail west of Crowchild Trail.