Election Alert: Read This

May 1, 2015 by CRC Action Group in News

As you know, CRCAG initiated a survey of all provincial election candidates in flood-affected ridings in Calgary, to understand their party’s policy regarding flood mitigation, and each candidate’s understanding of the issues. The deadline for response is later today and we will post these as soon as we’re able.
The City of Calgary has conducted its own much broader survey and the results are posted here: http://www.citiesmatter.ca/.  Of particular note are the responses received to questions regarding flood mitigation and reconstruction:
Upon our review of the City survey results, we have profound concerns with what several of these parties have said. Here is our brief assessment:

  • Liberals: No response given by the publication deadline. Enough said.
  • Alberta Party: The response aligns with CRCAG’s views: we agree with advocating for more than one mitigation project on the Elbow River, and agree that additional infrastructure is required for the Bow River to meet an acceptable mitigation standard.
  • NDP: As pertains to the Bow River, the NDP do not propose a specific plan and suggest that further study for storage options and other strategies are necessary. More studies means more delay. As regards the Elbow River, we have significant concerns with the responses given. Regarding the Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel project, the NDP seem confused between increasing the Glenmore Reservoir’s storage capacity (a project already underway) and the Tunnel project. That lack of basic understanding is extremely troubling. With respect to the Springback Off-Stream Diversion Project, the NDP would HALT this in favour of the McLean Creek Dam. The NDP cite input from community groups as the justification for this conclusion.  However, CRCAG – which represents a significant group of stakeholders – supports this as the first mitigation project to be undertaken, although not to the exclusion of an additional project such as McLean Creek, the Tunnel or a smaller dam solution further upstream, as required to ensure acceptable protection for all Albertans.  For the many reasons too numerous to cite here, but explained on our website, the Alberta government’s website and elsewhere, we think halting the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir is absolutely the wrong way to go.
  • Green Party: We’re not sure what this party is advocating, but it appears to be against any infrastructure solutions of any nature, and it would like to see buildings removed from perceived risk. We don’t know where to start to comment on this.
  • Progressive Conservatives: Response advises that the discussions with TransAlta for existing infrastructure management on the Bow are proceeding and that the Springbank project is advancing (while the McLean Creek and Tunnel projects are currently on hold but not shelved). We have continually posted on the advancement of work undertaken by the Alberta government on flood mitigation, DRP and policy areas, and we have advised of two information sessions at the end of May regarding each river, to be presented by the Alberta government and other stakeholders. This work by the government of Alberta is, of course, under the general direction of the PCs.
  • Wildrose: Their brief and vague response appears to be based on reading newspaper reports that we consider to be inaccurate, rather than based on the underlying data. Wildrose did not answer the questions posed and do not appear to have formulated their own conclusions based on the data at hand.

CRCAG has always maintained a decidedly non-partisan position when it comes to our elected officials. What matters to us are elected officials that exhibit the true leadership necessary to serve the citizens of this City and Province effectively in the aftermath of Canada’s worse natural disaster in history. Most importantly, they have to be able to actually GET THINGS DONE.
We’ve not shied away from criticizing government when warranted, and we’ve given praise to the right decisions and advocacy, like Premier Prentice’s decision to immediately proceed with the Springbank project work and Mayor Nenshi’s recent public statements pressing for flood protection for Calgary. 
We will honestly tell you we are concerned by next week’s election. CRCAG and all our supporters and each of our communities have laboured long and hard to move the ball forward.  While we remain concerned by project timelines, we do feel significant progress has been made. Given recent poll results, we are genuinely concerned that all this effort to right the ship could go horribly wrong.  In seeing the responses above, this appears to be a realistic fear. The entire City would be ill served if that happened.   
So, PLEASE VOTE THOUGHTFULLY and with purpose.
Your CRCAG Board