Alberta NDP blaming former government for major delay in school construction

Alberta's education minister says it's not the NDP government's fault that there will be a major delay in completing new schools and modernizing others.

CALGARY — Alberta’s education minister says it’s not the NDP government’s fault that there will be a major delay in completing new schools and modernizing others.

Dave Eggen told a news conference in Calgary that about 100 projects which were to be completed starting next September are behind schedule. He said the delays range from a few months to a full year.

The minister said the blame should be squarely focused on the former Progressive Conservative government which was defeated in last May’s election.

“People have been asking about where’s the skeletons from the previous government? This is a big one,” Eggen said Tuesday.

He is asking the province’s auditor general to investigate.

“The former government failed to set out realistic construction timelines and pushed project timelines through without long-term planning to keep them and make sure they would bear out to fruition,” he said.

“As a result, at a time when Alberta was growing rapidly, the previous government did not build a sufficient supply of schools to meet the needs of children.”

The former PC government said the province would spend $5 billion to build or upgrade 230 schools over the next five years. It promised in 2012 to build 50 new schools and modernize 70 more by 2016.

Premier Jim Prentice added 56 new schools and 21 more modernizations to a list to be completed by 2018.

“We saw this shell game going on for months, or even years, where there was a sign with a picture of a school but no school,” Eggen said.

“I’ve asked the auditor general to look into what has happened with these school projects and why there are so many that are so far behind and to give us advice on how to do better in the future.”

The auditor general is expected to report back before the end of the year.

The New Democrats are to deliver their first budget Oct. 27.

The former PC government tabled a 2015-16 budget in March and ran on it in the May election, but lost to the NDP.

Just Posted

Some central Alberta businesses pledge to pay youth $15 ahead of wage cut that kicks in Wednesday

Jo(e) Social Media Inc. and Kavaccino’s pledge to pay youth more than $13 an hour

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

LONGUEUIL, Que. — David Saint-Jacques returned to Earth on Monday after more… Continue reading

Red Deer property taxes are due Friday

City warns late fees will be applied after June 28

Cambodia charges 7, including Chinese, in building collapse

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — A court in Cambodia said Tuesday that seven people,… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Skinny Vancouver Whitecaps eager to pick up points on four-game road swing

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps know there’s work to be done as… Continue reading

World Cup exit shows Canada will miss the remarkable Christine Sinclair

PARIS — Christine Sinclair has put Canadian soccer on her shoulders for… Continue reading

Police release more than 1,000 files from Smollett probe

Chicago police on Monday released more than 1,000 files from the investigation… Continue reading

Tributes to Michael Jackson flow on 10th death anniversary

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate paid tribute to his artistry and… Continue reading

Alberta government, Opposition swap accusations, attacks in earplug debate

EDMONTON — Alberta’s earplug debate got louder Monday as the Opposition NDP… Continue reading

‘Clients fall off:’ Calgary program helps recently released prisoners with hep C

CALGARY — Imagine adjusting to life after serving prison time, then add… Continue reading

Opera star Measha Brueggergosman recovering from double bypass surgery

CALGARY — Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is recovering from heart surgery,… Continue reading

Who you gonna call? Alberta rattlesnake wrangler keeps serpents, citizens safe

LETHBRIDGE — One rattlesnake got caught in freshly laid tar under someone’s… Continue reading

Most Read