’Absolutely necessary:’ Alberta buys more land for flood mitigation project

Controversial reservoir near Calgary expected to help protect city from another massive flood

The Alberta government has now acquired one fifth of the land it needs for a controversial reservoir west of Calgary that would help protect the city from another massive flood.

Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Tuesday the province bought two square kilometres of land from the Robinson family, which has a cattle ranch in the Springbank area.

Mason acknowledged it was a hard decision for them.

“We know that this project is affecting some families that have real roots in that community and I really regret the fact that we need this land, but we need this land — it’s a very important project for a million-plus Calgarians,” Mason said.

“And if there was an alternative that I thought would provide that level of protection and do so in a timely way, I would have taken that. It’s unfortunate but it’s absolutely necessary in my view.”

The site’s total footprint is nearly 16 square kilometres. Before the Robinson land purchase, the province had secured eight per cent of the land required.

Mason declined to say how much was spent on the Robinson land purchase, or how much money has been set aside for the remaining land needed for the $432-million project.

He said he hopes the province does not have to resort to expropriation.

The Calgary Zoo, Stampede grounds, much of downtown and several neighbourhoods were overwhelmed during the 2013 southern Alberta floods. The province says a repeat of that event would cause $700 million in damage.

Ryan Robinson, who signed the deal with the government on behalf of his family, said the agreement protects and preserves heritage lands and buildings that have been in his family for generations. He said the deal also lifts a cloud of uncertainty for the Robinson children and grandchildren, as well as ranch employees who are like family.

“We understand the decision to pursue the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir was not an easy one for the Government of Alberta. It has not been easy for us either,” he said in a statement.

“Governments must make tough decisions sometimes, and we respect the steps taken to resolve this very complicated issue.”

The Springbank reservoir, along with Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir, will contain the same volume of water that resulted in the 2013 floods once it’s complete.

Mason said it will take two years to build once it obtains regulatory approval.

As of May of last year, the project was expected to be complete in 2022.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

CALGARY — An environmental group that tried to widen the scope of… Continue reading

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel,… Continue reading

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Zion’s freak injury ripples in basketball, business worlds

DURHAM, N.C. — Soon after Zion Williamson’s shoe ripped apart, Nike’s stock… Continue reading

HBC to shutter Home Outfitters brand and likely some Saks Off Fifth locations

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. is shuttering its Home Outfitters business and… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement

CALGARY — The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the… Continue reading

Abel begins diving season on brink of record for most worlds medals

MONTREAL — Jennifer Abel could make history this summer in Gwangju, South… Continue reading

On eve of return to Toronto, former Raptors star DeRozan says he’s “moved on”

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan has found closure. When the player once fondly… Continue reading

ACTRA to honour actress Jayne Eastwood who says being on set is her ‘happy place’

TORONTO — Looking back on her five decades in show business, Toronto… Continue reading

If proven, Smollett allegations could be a ‘career killer’

LOS ANGELES — Jussie Smollett is enmeshed in weekly drama on the… Continue reading

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Most Read