Calgary, Alberta – June 16th, 2021 –
Today marks the one year anniversary since Calgary City Council approved the Stage 1 plan for the Green Line LRT. Since then, procurement was started and then stopped and delays mounted as a provincial review of the project dragged on for months. That review concluded in late May with a revised business case being approved by the Green Line Board and submitted to the Alberta Government. A new procurement strategy was also announced. However with one day remaining in the spring legislature sitting, there is still no official approval of the new business case by the provincial government.
“After an entire year of delays due to the provincial review and with only a single day remaining in the spring legislature session, it’s time for Premier Kenney to deliver more than just soothing words about the Green Line,” said Jeff Binks, president of LRT on the Green. “We’ve had two years of positive talking points but I challenge anyone to find a firm action this government has made to show they fully support this project and want it to move forward. The Premier can change that tomorrow by announcing approval of the business case before the summer break and commit his government to removing the 90 day cancellation clause once federal sign off is complete.”
The 90 day cancellation clause for Green Line funding was introduced through legislation shortly after the UCP government was elected. It has been reported that market sounding conducted by the City of Calgary with prospective bidders revealed the clause had eroded market confidence in the project and would result in cost escalations as greater risk premiums would be built into bids. The Green Line Board of Directors has stated that they want to move forward with a new procurement strategy that will see the Shepard to Eau Claire segment of the project put out to tender as one large contract. Any cost escalations to this segment will impact the City of Calgary’s ability to build the Eau Claire to 16th Ave segment north of the Bow River.
“Minister McIver’s technical people signed off on all the technical issues with Green Line three weeks ago. A new business case and a new procurement strategy were signed off by the Green Line Board shortly after. One would hope the Premier has been continuously kept up to date on how the review of the largest infrastructure project in Alberta’s history has progressed. There should be nothing stopping him from signing off on the new business case before the legislature rises tomorrow.” concluded Binks.