Smith contemplates construction of $744 M Springbank Dam

Premier Danielle Smith mused about revisiting the approval of the Springbank Dam, despite construction being well underway on the $744-million flood protection project for the City of Calgary.

The Springbank Dam will protect Calgary from a repeat of the devastating 2013 floods that led to $5 billion in damages and the evacuation of 80,000 Calgarians.

NDP MLA Joe Ceci says such talk from the premier is grossly irresponsible.

“The Springbank Dam is essential to protecting Calgary families and businesses from a repeat of the devastating 2013 flood,” said Ceci.

“It’s absurd to suggest that such a huge and complex project could be sent back to square one almost a decade after a flood that caused $5 billion in damage, five deaths, 29 local emergencies and the evacuation of 80,000 residents,” added Ceci.

The Dam was thoroughly studied and subject to both provincial and federal reviews over the span of eight years, through three different provincial governments.

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When asked about the possibility of revisiting the approval of the Springbank Dam, Smith responded that there’s a good chance.

“It seems like a missed opportunity if we can find a way to have the flood mitigation taken care of as well as reservoirs so that we have more recreation and some hydropower as well as be able to feed more water into irrigation so that we can support our agriculture producers. Those are the kind of things that I’m looking for as a solution,” said Smith.

The UCP government awarded the contract for construction in May, and the ongoing work is expected to create 2,200 construction jobs before becoming operational in 2024.

A spokesperson from the premier’s office tells CityNews Smith’s comments were misinterpreted.

“The Premier knows that the Springbank Reservoir project is well underway with all the property acquired, teams on site, and earth being moved. She didn’t mean to suggest that we should halt this vital project. She’s looking forward to being briefed on everything that’s gone on and exploring other opportunities for potential hydroelectric projects around the province,” the statement reads.

–With files from Dan Carson

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