’Absolutely necessary:’ Alberta buys more land for flood mitigation project

Controversial reservoir near Calgary expected to help protect city from another massive flood

The Alberta government has now acquired one fifth of the land it needs for a controversial reservoir west of Calgary that would help protect the city from another massive flood.

Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Tuesday the province bought two square kilometres of land from the Robinson family, which has a cattle ranch in the Springbank area.

Mason acknowledged it was a hard decision for them.

“We know that this project is affecting some families that have real roots in that community and I really regret the fact that we need this land, but we need this land — it’s a very important project for a million-plus Calgarians,” Mason said.

“And if there was an alternative that I thought would provide that level of protection and do so in a timely way, I would have taken that. It’s unfortunate but it’s absolutely necessary in my view.”

The site’s total footprint is nearly 16 square kilometres. Before the Robinson land purchase, the province had secured eight per cent of the land required.

Mason declined to say how much was spent on the Robinson land purchase, or how much money has been set aside for the remaining land needed for the $432-million project.

He said he hopes the province does not have to resort to expropriation.

The Calgary Zoo, Stampede grounds, much of downtown and several neighbourhoods were overwhelmed during the 2013 southern Alberta floods. The province says a repeat of that event would cause $700 million in damage.

Ryan Robinson, who signed the deal with the government on behalf of his family, said the agreement protects and preserves heritage lands and buildings that have been in his family for generations. He said the deal also lifts a cloud of uncertainty for the Robinson children and grandchildren, as well as ranch employees who are like family.

“We understand the decision to pursue the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir was not an easy one for the Government of Alberta. It has not been easy for us either,” he said in a statement.

“Governments must make tough decisions sometimes, and we respect the steps taken to resolve this very complicated issue.”

The Springbank reservoir, along with Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir, will contain the same volume of water that resulted in the 2013 floods once it’s complete.

Mason said it will take two years to build once it obtains regulatory approval.

As of May of last year, the project was expected to be complete in 2022.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Finalists announced in Community Futures East Parkland’s third annual Marketing Plan Challenge

Small to medium sized businesses within the CFEP region were invited to participate

Stettler County council requests amendments that could allow for more dwellings in controversial development of Buffalo Lake

Project density limitations would not be financially viable, developer tells County

Clearview and staff are providing $1,525 towards ensuring families have enough to eat over the holidays

“Food Bank usage in Stettler and other areas continues to increase.”

‘You can take the kid from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the kid!’

Former area resident Maxine Berry reflects on growing up years in Endiang region

Red Deer-Lacombe MP, other Conservative MPs meet with AB justice minister

Calkins said the justice system is a revolving door for criminals targeting rural areas

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Two adults, two youths from Maskwacis charged in ATV, gun theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break, Enter & Theft and Weapons Offences - Arrests

Blackfalds RCMP officer’s firearm discharged in struggle

Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP assist after police vehicle stolen

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Johnson claims Brexit mandate with new conservative majority

Conservative Party wins 365 seats in the House of Commons

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Most Read