Statement from Mayor Alanna Hnatiw in response to provincial budget

The below statement from Mayor Alanna Hnatiw is in response to the Government of Alberta’s 2023 budget, tabled Feb. 28, 2023, subject to approval by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

“On behalf of Sturgeon County Council, I am pleased the provincial budget includes funding to address long-standing safety concerns with the Vinca Bridge, which was built more than 55 years ago. The Government of Alberta has pledged $60.5 million over three years to replace this critical infrastructure, which is a strategic connector to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and a vital component of Alberta’s High Load Corridor.

“Investment in rural transportation routes is essential for achieving growth and enhancing competitiveness regionally, provincially and nationally. The Vinca Bridge is an integral component of the Heartland: we need it to achieve our full economic development potential, create good jobs, and advance the clean-energy evolution. Replacing this bridge means goods and services will move in and out of our region efficiently, helping the Heartland attract more than $30 billion in new capital investments by 2030.

“While we recognize positive investments as part of the latest provincial budget, we are disappointed that no new funding was announced for improvement to rural broadband. Sturgeon County is actively seeking partnerships in this area to ensure all residents and businesses have access to high-speed internet. The Ministry of Technology and Innovation’s three-year business plan states the Government of Alberta’s commitment “to ensure every Albertan has access to reliable, high-speed internet by the end of fiscal year 2026-27.” We hope to see new announcements for critical broadband infrastructure funding in the near future.”

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