Lukaszuk promised ‘meaningful options’ for Highway 11 intersections

A ray of hope shone for those pressing for changes to the 781-11 intersection when Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk addressed

Annie Boychuk and her mother-in-law Karen Boychuk got a chance to talk with Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk about the need for urgent care in Sylvan Lake. They carried a poster which stated “Don’t quit fighting

A ray of hope shone for those pressing for changes to the 781-11 intersection when Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk addressed about 200 people who gathered for a ‘meet and greet’ last Wednesday.

He described the Highway 20 and 11 intersection as “hellishly confusing” for those making left hand turns and promised residents that he will address the matter with Transportation Minister Rick McIver and have the “whole issue of the intersections reviewed and meaningful options put on the table”.

He also promised he “will ensure (residents) have the possibility of providing meaningful input”.

He’d initially said he’d go back to the Minister of Transportation “and ask him to bring experts to provide options. We want traffic to flow, want it to be safe. This is no brain surgery, there must be a way to figure it out.”

However Rod English challenged him to find an American expert “who is not behooven to the Alberta government. We need outside help.”

Lukaszuk disagreed. “We don’t need international expertise to decide to put in lights, put up signs.”

Then Nancy Hayes told the deputy premier the government hasn’t been listening. “For three decades, three governments we’ve been asking for lights at 781 and 11. People have died, people have been maimed, there’s money individuals have spent on hospitalization. Three decades and three governments have been passing the buck. The citizens have been asking.”

“I cannot answer to you what happened 30 years ago,” Lukaszuk said. “I can tell you what we will do right now. We made a clear commitment to build infrastructure in this province … It’s the same as the frustrations we’re hearing in other parts for different reasons.”

At meetings like this one, he said, “there are calls for schools, seniors’ facilities, the list goes on and one. The province is growing. We need to build infrastructure.

“We will invest in Alberta infrastructure. Some will serve not only you but your kids and grandkids. We will be looking at different ways to finance that,” he added.

Lukaszuk promised a balanced operating budget then added, “if you want to build clinics, schools, highways, nursing homes, where’s the money going to come from.”

Asked specifically about lights for the 781-11 corner, he said, “It’s not whether were can afford it, but whether it’s the right thing to do.”

After further questioning from those in the audience, Lukaszuk said “I will make sure Alberta Transportation takes another look”.

On the town’s plea for urgent care he felt things were moving along nicely following a meeting earlier last week between doctors and Alberta Health Services representatives.

Lukaszuk spent most of the day in Sylvan Lake and had a chance to meet local doctors which he described as “fascinating” and “very positive”.

“Sylvan Lake is in a position which is really enviable … to be a city of this size and have 14 doctors. What makes it even more enviable is the 14 doctors are willing to work together as partners. This is rare in itself. You also have a facility with labs and x-ray.”

What’s needed, he admitted, is money and qualified staff to increase hours.

Lukaszuk said the Conservatives, during the election campaign, committed to opening 140 Family Care Centres “pulling all doctors and equipment together so you can be served in a way you need to be served”. He indicated the centres won’t all be the same. A Family Care Centre in Sylvan Lake would be different from a Family Care Centre in Cold Lake.

“Solutions are almost pulling themselves together,” he said.

Lukaszuk began his ‘meet and greet’ wandering among people in the community centre gym listening to concerns and answering questions. Part way through the event he was surrounded by a group of people, some who had travelled from as far away as Camrose, who wanted to talk about land rights. After calling all those who wanted to discuss the issue towards him, he walked into the middle of the auditorium and said he was there to discuss two local issues — urgent care and the intersections. Then he addressed those concerns before leaving the room.

He did tell those concerned with land rights that he’d arrange for someone to come here who knew more about those issues but there were jeers as he left.

Just Posted

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Waterfront redevelopment plan receives boost from federal government

The Town of Sylvan Lake received a grant for more than $100,000 for SWARP

No threat to public safety following alleged attempted child abduction

RCMP are calling the incident a “non-event”.

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Food trucks returning to Sylvan Lake

Food Truck Thursday will return beginning May 31

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Prices at the pump spike as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Most Read