Original Published April 19, 2022

Joe McWilliams

In the CAO’s written report at council’s April 12 meeting was the news the town had received a phone call from the Minister of Transportation’s chief of staff. It was in response to a letter from the town, quite some time ago, asking that “the ministry share information on highways in the province that are in (a) worse state than those in the Slave Lake area.”

The chief of staff told the town the department will not be passing on that information, “as it is under no obligation to share information about other jurisdictions.” He went on to say highway improvement decisions are based on “engineering technical merit,” and that the need exceeds the funding.

Nice of the ministry to get back to us, said mayor Tyler Warman, “basically telling us it’s none of our business.”

Warman said council is pleased to know Hwy. 2 is scheduled for some attention this year. However, no commitment to Hwy. 88 has been forthcoming, in spite of quite a bit of pestering – and not from just one municipality. The ministry has been hearing the same sort of thing from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and the M.D. of Opportunity as well. Probably among others.

Referring to that deteriorating route, Warman said, “We feel we have one of the worst highways in Alberta,” and promised, “We will continue to advocate.”

Responding to that, councillor Steve Adams said he thinks it is “absolutely our business,” what the province’s paving plans are.

Warman agreed: “At the bare minimum,” he said, the province should be sharing what its capital priorities are. The town is required (by provincial mandate) to make its three-year capital plan available. The province should be willing to do at least that much.

Adams made a motion to send a letter to the ministry requesting exactly that.

This item reprinted with permission from Lakeside Leader, Slave Lake, Alberta