If the New Democrats are elected in April, leader Cam Broten has not only promised Prince Albert and region a second bridge, but promised its completion in four years.
Broten made the announcement Friday in Prince Albert.
“A second bridge in Prince Albert is a no-brainer,” Broten said. “It’s a matter of safety for this region and northern Saskatchewan, but it will also boost the economy. Prince Albert and the entire North has untapped economic potential – and one of the missing ingredients is a second bridge. New Democrats will build that bridge.”
Broten was skeptical of the Wall government’s commitment to Prince Albert and said a bridge was his party’s priority.
“We’ve had a decade of resource boom…but the money’s only going one way. The Sask. Party simply hasn’t been giving back to Prince Albert or the North,” Broten said.
He argued since Brad Wall’s government didn’t build the bridge during the province’s economic boom, the premier cannot be trusted to now.
Broten said P.A. would not have to fund the project, as a second bridge served not only the city but the entire northern region.
“It would be provincially funded, though we’d be going to the federal government as well looking for input on their side. I think this project pulled a lot of merit. But if you look at the current repairs being done to the existing bridge through the Urban Highway Connector Program, that’s funded by the province, I think that same rationale should apply for the (second) bridge,” Broten said.
The Sask. Party was quick to comment on Broten’s promises, taking particular exception to the NDP’s claims Wall has ignored Prince Albert.
The party said in a release that Premier Wall committed in 2014 to a public-private partnership model to fund a bridge. The party noted the province has also spent $7 million maintaining the Diefenbaker Bridge. The release said an engineering study concluded that the Diefenbaker Bridge had a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.