Athabasca Leaders Press Calvert For Roads

Friday, February 25, 2005 at 13:29



The premier is considering a request from Athabasca leaders to fund half the cost of a proposed all-weather road network in the Far North.


The entire project is expected to cost as much as $50 million, and would connect communities like Wollaston Lake, Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids and Black Lake to southern Saskatchewan.


Proponents of the road network have been appealing to both the province and Ottawa to commit funding to the project for six years now, but to no avail.


On Tuesday, Athabasca chiefs and transportation committee officials met with Lorne Calvert in Regina.


Athabasca development official Glen Strong says Calvert was told about the economic development opportunities that could be lost in the region if something isn’t done soon.


Strong is convinced the federal government will come through with 50 per cent of the construction costs if the province commits the other half up front.


Strong says the mild weather this winter has underscored the need for these roads, as many freight trucks are carrying only half loads across the ice roads because of dangerous ice conditions.


The premier has apparently promised to get back to the Athabasca leaders within a month.