China canola ban: Statement from Premier Notley

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“Alberta farmers contribute mightily to our economy and to Canada’s.

“Today, we learned that the Chinese government is barring a huge chunk of our canola shipments from entering their country. This is wrong and it’s unfair.

“Seventy per cent of agri-food exports to China from Alberta are canola-related products. And canola farming contributes billions to the Canadian economy.

“So, today, I’m calling on the prime minister to get back on the job and fight for our canola farmers and the jobs they support.

“We are calling on Ottawa to stop its navel-gazing about its internal controversies and fight back.

“Alberta farmers and Alberta workers stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars and up to 3,000 jobs if this is not resolved.

“We need certainty – and now, more than ever, we need Ottawa to be in Canada’s corner.”

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Building a more flood-resilient Calgary

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Minister Ceci announces new flood resilience grant funding for Calgary and other Alberta communities.

As part of its $150 million in dedicated funding to Calgary, the province has approved new Alberta Community Resilience Program grants totalling $15 million for two high-priority projects in the city. This year, the government will invest more than $43 million for 15 flood mitigation projects across the province.

In Calgary, a permanent flood barrier will be built to protect the downtown area and a stormwater separation project will protect the community of Sunnyside-Hillhurst.

“Flooding has a devastating impact on our families, communities and economy. That’s why our government is committed to protecting Albertans by investing in flood resilience, both here in Calgary and across the province. With smart investments in critical projects like the ones announced, we can improve public safety for Albertans where they live and work.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The downtown flood barrier will extend from the newly completed West Eau Claire flood barrier to Reconciliation Bridge to protect the downtown area against high flows on the Bow River. The separation of the Upper Plateau stormwater system from the community of Sunnyside-Hillhurst will mitigate the risk of flooding and backflow into the community during high water events. Both projects are in the preliminary design stage.

“Protecting Calgary’s downtown and the communities that were hit hard during the 2013 flood is absolutely critical. The Upper Plateau project will prevent Sunnyside from being the catch basin for drainage, while the concrete wall on the south bank of the Bow River will better protect our downtown core. This commitment is a step forward to become a stronger, more resilient city.”

Naheed Nenshi, mayor, City of Calgary

In total, $43.2 million approved through the Alberta Community Resilience Program will support 15 flood resilience projects across the province this year, including the Horsefly Spillway Project in the Municipal District of Taber. This 14-kilometre spillway will extend from the St. Mary River Irrigation District main canal to the Oldman River, increasing flood attenuation capacity in the region.

“The Horsefly Spillway Project is a significant project for both our municipality and other southern Alberta municipalities and irrigation districts. On behalf of the Southern Regional Drainage Committee, I extend our thanks and appreciation to the Government of Alberta for this grant. We look forward to working with our regional partners as well as both provincial and federal officials as we undertake this regionally significant project.”

Merrill Harris, reeve, Municipal District of Taber

Other funded projects include

  • Construction of flood mitigation works in Edmonton at the City’s Rossdale and E.L. Smith water treatment plants to address riverine flooding risks and help safeguard the city and region’s drinking water.
  • A flood berm to protect the lower townsite of Fort McMurray to the one-in-100-year ice jam flood elevation, plus freeboard.
  • The relocation of water wells at Siksika Nations’s Arthur A. Youngman water treatment plant out of the flood hazard area to secure the nation’s drinking water from the impacts of high water events.
  • Construction of drainage improvements on NE2 road in Saddle Lake Cree Nation, which is the only access roadway to more than 160 homes as well as the community healing lodge and water treatment plant.
  • Construction of a new, naturalized stormwater facility in Westlock and associated drainage channel improvements designed to accommodate the one-in-100-year storm event.

Since the inception of the Alberta Community Resilience Program, the province has provided more than $220 million to municipalities and First Nations for flood resilience projects that will help ensure public safety, protect critical municipal infrastructure and better manage stormwater. More than 49 municipalities and four First Nations have received funding through the program since 2015.

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New rest stops on major Alberta highways

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Minister Mason makes rest stop announcement at the AMTA training facility grand opening.

The Government of Alberta is building one new safety rest stop on the QEII between Calgary and Edmonton and two more along the Yellowhead Highway, west of Edmonton. Adding rest stops to heavily travelled corridors is part of the province’s overall approach to promote traffic safety.

“Safe highways are the No.1 priority for our government. Rest stops allow our commercial carriers to rest so they are not fatigued behind the wheel. They’re also a good place for all of us to pull over and stretch our legs before getting back on the road.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

The safety rest stops will be at:

  • QEII Southbound at Wolf Creek, just north of Lacombe
  • Westbound on the Yellowhead highway, west of highway 43
  • Eastbound on the Yellowhead highway, west of highway 43

The province is also supporting development of a new private-sector rest stop near Bowden.

Quick facts

  • Construction of the rest stops is expected to support 89 jobs.
  • The building cost is estimated at $20 million.
  • Safety rest stops will be designed to accommodate possible future commercial opportunities such as gas stations and restaurants.
  • Vehicle traffic counts at the new locations are:
    • Wolf Creek – 14,280 southbound
    • Yellowhead – 7,215 eastbound
    • Yellowhead – 7,215 westbound

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