Prime Minister Trudeau makes a funding announcement regarding Calgary's ring road
Good morning everyone. I’m here today to share some good news for the City of Calgary. But as Naheed said, today is also a profoundly sad day. Last night, after days of exhaustive searching, we learned that Calgary police found the body of Taliyah Marsman… Talīyah Marsman. And she was a beautiful child, as are all children with a full and promising life ahead of her. I want Calgarians to know that the entire country is with you in grieving her loss and that of her mother, Sara. I want to extend a special thanks for Calgary police, who I know have poured their hearts into this investigation and who are especially devastated by last night’s news. And finally, to the family and friends of Sara and Taliyah, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of two people whom you loved and loved you. Families across this country, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings are grieving alongside you, thinking of you, praying for you. I hope you can someday find some peace through your sadness.
And we are also thinking of our friends in France, where last night more than 80 people, including many children, were killed in a terrorist attack in Nice.
The victims are families that were celebrating their national holiday, like many of us did two weeks ago today. We have all participated in this kind of celebration. We’ve all made our way through the bustling crowds, danced to the beat of our favourite songs, let the kids stay up past their bedtime to see the fireworks. And at the end of the night we headed home carrying our sleeping children in our arms. They are the ones who were targeted. They are the ones who were attacked.
And it is with great determination that we extend to the Government of France all possible assistance. We will work with our allies to combat terrorism in all possible forms and to bring those responsible to justice.
And now on to the reason for my visit today. I want to first thank Premier Notley, Mayor Nenshi and Tsuut'ina Nation Chief Roy Whitney for being here. When I was being honoured a few months ago by the Tsuut'ina Nation, Chief Roy and I chatted quite a bit about the project we’re confirming today. I also want to acknowledge the provincial Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, Brian Mason and the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, and finally our great local MP for Calgary Centre, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Kent Hehr. Good to have you here Amarjeet and Kent. Kent, thanks for all the hard work that you and Darshan Kang have put into making this announcement possible.
I know that during Stampede Week people typically expect a visiting politician to do two things, flip pancakes and look awkward in a really big hat. Well, I ticked off both those boxes this morning, which frees me up now to make this important announcement. And while I want to be very clear that the news we are sharing today, while very important to the City of Calgary and the people who live here, is new, it’s not something that you’ll be hearing about for the very first time. Last summer the previous government announced plans to invest up to $583 million in the construction of the southwest portion of the Calgary Ring Road. And today I’m happy to announce that our government will be moving ahead with this project. We’ve completed the necessary reviews and the project has now met all the requirements and conditions for funding under the 2014 new Building Canada Plan.
I am happy to announce that all the steps are now complete and that work on the southwest Calgary Ring Road, representing an investment of $583 million, is now underway.
For the City of Calgary it means a new, large-scale highway and the completion of a plan that has been in the works since the 1970s. For local businesses, it means better and faster access to markets, whether goods are travelling across the province or across the country to trading partners in North America or around the world. For the citizens of Calgary and surrounding communities it means less time spent waiting in traffic and more time spent with family and friends. And that’s not time in an abstract sense. The average Calgarian spends nearly an hour commuting to and from work every day. An hour every day commuting to and from work -- that’s almost ten full days spent commuting every year. That’s time that would be better spent playing with your kids at Prince’s Island, or shopping at the farmer’s market, or volunteering in the community. A project like the southwest Calgary Ring Road will help to make that possible.
The land transfer agreement negotiated between the Tsuut’ina Nation and the Province of Alberta is a key part of this project, which will encourage economic growth and create opportunities for the community. This initiative is also beneficial for the environment. Better traffic flow will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. And the tourism industry will also benefit. Thanks to this new road, it will be easier for travellers to visit the spectacular national parks of Alberta and British Columbia.
For all these reasons and because we know that infrastructure investments like this one can create good, well-paying jobs that help the middle class and those working hard to join it, we are proud to do our part, along with the province and the city, to make good on this promise.
Thank you all once again for joining with us today. I’m now happy to call upon my friend, Premier Rachel Notley.