Fort Macleod is now paying the price for the Progressive Conservative government’s ongoing fiscal incompetence and mismanagement, Wildrose Party MLAs said Wednesday.
The Wildrose Party slammed the government for its abrupt cancellation of the $122-million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre.
“The government should be making spending promises based on a publicly disclosed infrastructure priority list that is based on objective criteria, rather than playing political games with communities and locally elected leaders,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said.
“Given the size of the provincial deficit, perhaps this project needed to be delayed a year or two, but to cancel it altogether is wasteful and looks vindictive,” Anderson added. “Fort Macleod just had the rug pulled out from under it because this government can’t or won’t get its act together.”
Solicitor General Jonathan Denis announced Wednesday the province scrapped plans to build the training centre in Fort Macleod.
Denis cited a lack of support from police officials for the project, which was first awarded to Fort Macleod in 2006.
Anderson slammed the government for scrapping the project despite having spent millions in planning and preparation, breaking ground on it more than a year ago and hiring a construction company to build it last month.
Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw questioned how Alberta’s future policing needs will be met without the facility in place.
“We need to crack down on drunk drivers and put more boots on the ground to make major routes like Highway 63 safer,” Saskiw said. “If we aren’t training enough police and peace officers, we will continue to risk safety on our highways. Last month they were telling us how important this facility is and that it would train 1,400 new officers and provide professional development for another 1,200. Now they want us to believe existing facilities can handle all that?”
Wildrose Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier said the government’s broken promise on the facility will have a lasting impact on the community.
“This is devastating news for Fort Macleod and the entire region,” Stier said. “This government led us down a path, made us believe this facility was coming, told us how important it was, even announced a construction company and design firm, and just like that it’s all gone. I’m appalled and extremely disappointed.”