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Mayor irritated with Rocky View delay on flood mitigation

Last Updated Dec 11, 2018 at 7:25 pm MDT

(Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi looked visibly upset Tuesday as he was asked to respond to a move by Rocky View County in which its council voted against the Springbank dry dam.

Nenshi says the work conducted on a part of the county caught them off guard.

“I heard him speaking this morning, and he said a bunch of stuff that well, just isn’t true,” said Nenshi. “We’ve been working on this for five years, there has been extensive community and public consultation, there have been multiple scientific studies by outside experts that show the Springbank dry dam is the right choice and the reeve says this was sprung on them, there were no alternatives looked at, and there is no benefit to the county. All of these things are not just false; they are deeply offensive.”

The mayor says five people died in 2013 flooding, there was $6 billion dollars in damages, and every single person in the region requires a healthy city of Calgary economy to see their livelihoods thrive.

“To play political games this late and to potentially put peoples’ lives and their property and the economy of the country at risk is beyond irresponsible,” he said.

He’s calling on the province to be clear in its positioning; he says it’s clear to him that Rocky View County has allowed itself to be part of the political conversation, and it shouldn’t go down that road.

READ MORE: Elbow river residents frustrated by threat of more delays to Springbank project

Nenshi says the number one person he wants to hear from is Jason Kenney.

“So irritating, there is lots of other things to work on in the world, and I don’t need to be going back to people who are terrified every spring and saying ‘sorry folks are lying about a project that will protect you’,” he said.

He says the city shouldn’t have to wait ten years to get this done, even the NDP have come around to see Springbank is the best way to go.

“We have so much work to do on the Bow River, we have so much work to do to keep Calgarians and everyone in southern Alberta safe and for us to go back to decisions that have been long ago been settled is not at all productive, and it is as I say irresponsible in the extreme,” said Nenshi.

He likened this to people who never liked the dam project; he says they’re throwing spaghetti to the wall to see if any of it will stick.

Nenshi is calling on the leaders of all provincial political parties to release how they plan to protect the city concerning flood mitigation.

He adds it’s clear to him that Rocky View County is not willing to be a good regional partner and he’s going to want to see some good faith on their part before he talks about planning and shared resources.