Belanger Leads Northern Delegation to Ft. McMurray

Monday, July 14, 2003 at 15:17




A group of northern Saskatchewan leaders is in Fort McMurray today to lobby for a long-sought-after road that would link that city to La Loche.


Northern Affairs Minister Buckley Belanger is leading the delegation, which will meet with Belanger’s Alberta counterpart, Pearl Calahasen.


The Saskatchewan government completed a road from La Loche to the Alberta boundary a few years ago, with the expectation that Alberta would continue the link from the border to Fort McMurray.


That hasn’t happened, and both provincial and municipal officials in Alberta have signalled that the proposed highway isn’t a priority for them.


Northern Saskatchewan leaders want the road in place in order to provide greater employment opportunities for northerners in Alberta’s oil sands. They also feel the road would significantly boost tourism on the west side.


Over the next 2 days, the northern Saskatchewan delegation will meet with local representatives, tourism contacts and oil sands officials based in Fort McMurray. The delegation will also attend a reception with about 50 community and industry leaders from that city.