Prior to the provincial election in April, the realignment of the Highways 781/11 intersection was the focus of much concern among the citizens of Sylvan Lake and area as well as tourists and others travelling that stretch of road.
During the election campaign, many citizens raised this concern with me and I promised to advocate for them and to lobby the government to save the intersection at Highways. 781/11.
I have not let up on this issue, and indeed, I have been lobbying the Minister of Transportation, Ric McIver, on a daily basis. I have also had a personal meeting with Minister McIver and will be tabling a petition in the fall legislature.
I continue to hear of discontent with potential traffic flow problems and widespread safety concerns.
I have had several meetings with stakeholders, citizens and visitors to Sylvan Lake. My office is receiving an abundance of letters and phone calls regarding the need for access/opening of this intersection.
It has been made clear to me that the alternative solution of Memorial Trail and additional intersections is not acceptable to a substantial number of citizens. While I believe it is beneficial to have the additional roads completed, I am not advocating that as an acceptable solution.
I am committed to lobbying the government and Minister of Transportation to fully reopen the Highways 781/11 intersection.
I have invited the Minister of Transportation, Ric McIver, to visit our community and see the effect of the right-in/out intersection. Minister McIver has not seen this intersection and cannot have a true appreciation of its importance to the Town of Sylvan Lake.
In my efforts to continue to listen to my constituents and to be a strong advocate for the residents of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, I will be holding a meeting to discuss how we go forward in our fight to fully re-open this intersection on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at Sylvan Lake Community Centre.
I encourage residents to come out and we will work together to make our voices heard.
I have also engaged the Leader of the Official Opposition, Danielle Smith, and there has been a discussion with the Minister of Transportation stressing the importance of this intersection being fully reopened.
We knew this was going to be a difficult battle with Alberta Transportation, but I am hoping that the elected officials will see clearly the wishes of the people and abide by their mandate to represent the people.
MLA Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Constituency