NDP leader Rachel Notley was in Fort McMurray Wednesday to address her plans for our community if she gets a second term as Premier.
“When it comes to Fort McMurray, this is a very, very important community, it has been an economic driver for Alberta for a very, very long time, and even before the drop in the price of oil and even before the fire, we knew that the people of Fort McMurray were frustrated with the lack of attention this community got for simple infrastructure requests.”
Notley’s biggest offer for Fort McMurray voters was a promise to build a second highway out of the city.
“We will do what is necessary to get a proper exit established for the people of Fort McMurray.”
The province has already completed a $5 million study of the highway. Notley also said the NDP would build a heavy haul route for economic development.
“To make sure that we are competitive as we continue our work on developing our ability to upgrade and refine and get more value for our oil and gas resources.”
When asked about our oilsands industry and pipelines, Notley said her government has fought harder than anybody to get pipelines built.
“We advocated very herd to get Line 3, we put money into Keystone to make sure that project stays alive and I think everybody here in Fort McMurray knows how hard we’ve been fighting to get Trans Mountain built and to get access to tidewater for the first time in over 60 years in this country.”
The provincial NDP leader believes her party will get it done after the NEB re-approved the project last month and the Federal government is finishing their consultations with Indigenous communities.
“I feel confident we’re going to get shovels back in the ground come fall and I won’t stop till it gets done.”
Before the wildfire there was talk about connecting Fort McMurray to Grande Prairie, Notley does think it is worth looking at the options, as the west route could also serve as a secondary exit through the west
“We are going to make sure that is canvassed as well. I grew up in the Peace River country, I’m very aware of this silliness that you have to go so far south in order to come back up North here to Fort McMurray. It seems that since both parts of northern Alberta are involved in so much oil and gas development it would make more sense to be able to pull them together.”
Notley reminisced on her work for the long awaited Willow Square continuing care facility and heli-pad at the hospital.
“Were going to keep listening to what people n this community have to say because we need to make sure that the people that do so much work for the province of Alberta up here are well supported.”
Notley also plans to phase in more $25 a day childcare in the region over the next five years.
When asked about our local NDP Candidates, Jane Stroud and Stephen Drover, Notley says both of them have a strong record of standing up for this community and understand this community.