In her letter, the Premier outlines her expectations that Alberta continues to offer a high quality of life and attract the best and brightest from around the world and asks Minister Dreeshen to deliver on a platform commitment to finalize a provincial investment of up to $300 million for road and bridge construction, LRT connection, site utilities, site reclamation and other supportive infrastructure to support the development of the new Calgary arena and entertainment district. This would also include, in partnership with the city and with a further contribution of up to $30 million, building a new 1,000-seat community arena neighbouring the main arena to serve youth and amateur hockey.
The Premier also tasks Minister Dreeshen with:
- Expanding and improving major highways and roadways in the greater Edmonton and Calgary areas, including the Anthony Henday Drive and Deerfoot Trail.
- Developing an integrated water program that facilitates increased water treatment and distribution for residential, industrial and agricultural water use across Alberta.
- Focusing on expanding economic corridors across the province and country to increase employment, economic growth and non-renewable resource revenue for Albertans. This should include working to secure corridor agreements with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to Hudson Bay, the Pacific and the Arctic. Also, to improve Highway 686 to better connect Alberta’s northwestern and northeastern economic regions.
- Working through the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba memorandum of understanding (MOU), to prioritize interprovincial infrastructure projects and to align regulation with a view towards a more prosperous transportation and logistics industry. In addition, work should include expanding economic corridor MOUs to include British Columbia and territorial partners.
- As lead, collaborating with the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance to explore cost-sharing arrangements with the private sector and/or municipalities that support economic investment in Alberta's transportation network, including public transit, heavy rail and bridge infrastructure that better connects the Calgary and Edmonton airports to their downtowns, regional communities to Calgary and Edmonton, and Calgary to the province’s Rocky Mountains parks system. This must initially include completing the Blue Line link to the Calgary airport.
- Examining the feasibility of a province-led Metrolinx-like model for commuter rail service using heavy rail on the Canadian Pacific rail line from Airdrie to Okotoks and the Edmonton International Airport to downtown Edmonton, with a view to developing a commuter rail system that can expand as Alberta grows. Part of the feasibility study should include the use of hydrogen-powered trains.
- Building a safer transportation system and a more efficient network in Alberta that embraces technology and innovative products and reduces the regulatory burden on commercial carriers, drivers and other users.
- As lead, working with the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade to facilitate the growth and development of Alberta's airports, with special attention to regional airports (i.e., Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat) that can help Albertans connect themselves and their goods to major international airports and increase Alberta’s economic competitiveness.
- Collaborating with the Minister of Indigenous Relations to explore ways to work with Indigenous and Métis people for transportation-related prosperity-sharing, water management, emergency mitigation and recovery.
- As lead, working with the Minister of Indigenous Relations to implement the First Nations Regional Drinking Water Tie-In Program.
- In cooperation with the Minister of Infrastructure, accelerating priority infrastructure investments identified by Cabinet and Caucus.
- Working with the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, to assist in designing a ministry-specific job-attraction strategy to raise the awareness of young Albertans (aged 16 to 24) and adults changing careers of the skilled trades and professions available in each economic sector, including pathways for education, apprenticeship and training.
- Working with municipalities to assess and improve strategic bridge infrastructure.
“Alberta has the largest provincial road network in Canada –more than 64,000 lane kilometres of highways (of which more than 28,400 kilometres are paved) and more than approximately 4,600 owned bridges, one of the largest highway networks in Canada.. I’m honoured to build our roads, bridges and critical infrastructure all across the province. New private sector investments and jobs will continue to guide future Alberta construction projects.”