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PA Mayor Says P3 Funding Model May Not Work For Second Bridge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 17:07

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne says he has concerns about the Sask Party government’s latest proposal to fund a second bridge in the city.

Premier Brad Wall made the announcement yesterday that the provincial government will commit to funding for a second bridge in Prince Albert under the P3 model.

This would mean all three levels of government would provide funding as well as the private sector.

Dionne says any discussion about a new bridge is positive but the city does have some concerns when it comes to the P3 model.

He says there are two hurdles to overcome in building the bridge, one involving how much the project would cost the city.

“One of the hurdles is the first bridge that was proposed would be 100 per cent funding by the province… but under the P3 model we could be on the hook for $30 million,” he says.

Dionne also says the city is in need of a second hospital as well.

A new hospital will cost roughly $400 million and the city would be responsible for $80 million of this price tag.

“Then it becomes a priority, is the hospital number one or is it the bridge, so we are looking at the bridge and we are going to keep our eyes wide open.”

He says the city is currently conducting a study to see which is the most immediate priority for Prince Albert – a bridge or a hospital.

Premier Wall remains in the Prince Albert area this week as Sask Party MLAs head up to Elk Ridge Resort for a caucus retreat.

 
Province Open To Funding A Second Bridge In PA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Monday, 11 August 2014 16:11

A second bridge in Prince Albert is closer to becoming a reality.

Premier Brad Wall was in Prince Albert Monday morning to confirm the provincial government is committed to funding their share of a second bridge in the city.

In a letter to Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne, the Premier says if the city comes forward with an application to the P3 Canada Fund, it would receive serious consideration from the province.

“We do believe that a second bridge in Prince Albert would be eligible as a P3 Canada project but I want to confirm today for the people of Prince Albert and area that our provincial government is committed to funding our share of a second bridge for the city,” Wall said at the press conference.

The Premier says such a project would not be limited to funding from all three levels of government but could include private sector investment as well.

“There is precedent in the private sector that wants better access and routes in place, so there is precedence for them to be partners as well, so we should at least explore it.”

Wall says he has spoken briefly with local city officials about the proposed project.

“They are going to discuss things because there is a financial implication there, but this (commitment) is just a way to advance (the project).”

However, the NDP opposition is calling on the government to go ahead with a second bridge in the city without private funding.

The opposition says private infrastructure projects typically cost taxpayers more and the public loses control over the project.

It now lies with the City of Prince Albert to submit an application to the P3 Canada Fund if the city wants to start the ball rolling for a second bridge.

According to Wall, early estimates peg the cost of a second bridge in the city at around $150 million.

 
Ruling In Hales Murder Trial Delayed As a Result Of Supreme Court Ruling On Mr. Big PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Monday, 11 August 2014 16:09

Yet another twist has occurred in the Douglas Hales murder trial.

Hales is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Daleen Bosse of Onion Lake Cree Nation who was last seen in May 2004.

The Saskatoon trial wrapped up at the end of June and Justice Gerald Allbright was supposed render a ruling on Aug. 29.

However, the decision has now been delayed based on a recent Supreme Court ruling.

In a decision last month, the nation’s highest court overturned the murder conviction of a Newfoundland man who had been the target of a Mr. Big undercover police sting operation.

The Supreme Court decision has wide ramifications and means cases using Mr. Big methods must now meet a higher threshold if the prosecution wants to use witness statements as admissible evidence.

In Mr. Big operations, undercover officers typically set up a bogus criminal organization and lure the target in with promises of big money payouts, friendship and acceptance.

The operation often ends with the target making a confession to a fake Mr. Big crime boss.

RCMP officers relied heavily on Mr. Big techniques in order to solicit a murder confession out of Hales in 2008.

Crown and defence will now meet on Aug. 29 to makes submissions based on the Supreme Court ruling.

Crown prosecutor Matt Miazga says the case against Hales is still as strong as it was before the ruling but it will now just have to be argued in terms of the Supreme Court decision.

“I think the issues that were raised by the Supreme Court, as I mentioned, were precisely the issues that were argued in this case at great length by both myself and Mr. Hrycan (Hales’ lawyer) but the court has to now apply this new rule of evidence to those issues,” he says.

He adds it is not uncommon for the rules of evidence to change in the midst of a case and it is just something the prosecution will have to deal with.

A decade has now passed since Daleen Bosse went missing and the case went to court.

Police didn’t charge Hales until 2008 and it took another six years for the case to go to trial as he changed or fired a number of lawyers.

Miazga says the latest delay has certainly added to the frustration of friends and family of Bosse.

“Obviously it’s hard for them to realize now that this case isn’t going to have a decision on Aug. 29, that it’s going to be weeks or months until that day comes. So, it’s disheartening for them. I think the words they used, ‘They felt like it was a punch in the gut,’ if I can quote them in relation to the fact that the case isn’t going to be finished on the twenty-ninth.”

Both sides in the case also met briefly on Monday morning at Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 06:53
 
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