Now that April 16th is behind us, and we all know we will be moving forward with a new UCP government, we wanted to share their public statement in support of the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir (SR1) project and outline next steps for the project.
“On day one of a United Conservative Government, we will appoint an independent expert to determine why construction has not yet begun on the Springbank Dam.
We will continue with the application before the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency for approval of SR1. This includes providing all of the necessary data to CEAA in support of the application for approval of SR1.
We will consult with all interested First Nations, including the Tsuut’ina, and consult with members of the general public, municipalities, and affected land owners.
If SR1 receives the requisite approval and the necessary aboriginal consultation has been completed, a United Conservative government will expedite construction of this project without delay.”
You can read the full statement on the UCP website here.
Alberta’s new provincial cabinet was sworn in on April 30, 2019, so we also know who will lead key ministries responsible for upstream mitigation projects and flood mapping for the province:
- Transportation – MLA Calgary-Hays, Ric McIver
Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project (SR1)
- Environment and Parks– MLA Rimbey–Rocky Mountain House–Sundre, Jason Nixon
Bow River Water Management Options Project
- Municipal Affairs – MLA Edmonton-South West, Kaycee Madu
Update the provincial flood maps (working with Environment and Parks)
- Justice – MLA Calgary-Elbow, Doug Schweitzer
Current SR1 project status
The regulatory clock on SR1 has been “paused” at day 110 of 365 days since June 29, 2018.
You’ll remember, the overall time allocated for the CEAA to review the EIS is 365 days. However, the clock is able to be paused for information requests.
Alberta Transportation is currently continuing its work to answer the 86 information requests it received from the CEAA, NRCB, and Alberta Environment. Many of the questions required additional stakeholder consultations, particularly with indigenous groups; which is important work that can not be rushed.
Once the writ was dropped in March, the civil service was required to halt a lot of the community stakeholder and outreach, as the provincial government entered a “hibernation” period while election campaigning took place. Emergencies and day-to-day business was addressed but not much beyond that.
For SR1, this included many concurrent streams of work including regulatory work and stakeholder consultation, land negotiations, and project design.
Now that a new government has been elected, a new cabinet needs to be put in place and new ministers need to get up-to-speed on ministry files before they can direct civil service on how to move forward with each file.
UCP Leader Jason Kenney has promised to select his cabinet by April 30th.
We are particularly keen to find out who will fill the roles Transportation minister, responsible for leading the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project, and who will fill the role of Environment & Parks minister, responsible for upstream mitigation on the Bow River.
Questions? Comments? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.