No spinning over parkade

The City is hell bent on making sure the Alberta government delivers on its intentions.

Last week, a huge splash was made in Red Deer with the Municipal Planning Commission’s (MPC) approval of a $57 million expansion for the Cancer Centre.

While this is all a marvelous health care bonanza for Red Deer and the region, the City is adamant the province must finally step up to the plate and construct a parkade, which could cost up to $20 million, to facilitate the expansion, and just as importantly, relieve the parking burdens and headaches area residents have been forced to endure for years.

This has been a plan that has been in the works for a decade and the City strongly feels the province has run out of excuses to delay it much longer.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials told MPC they are “pushing hard” to get the multi-storey parkade done as a future development, even suggesting some sort of timeline is imminent. In the interim, AHS has made a deal with nearby Bettenson’s Holdings for the leasing of space to accommodate 180 parking stalls starting this November. As a condition for approval, or perhaps more accurately a not-so-subtle push at the province to get its act together – MPC ordered the space be hard surfaced within a year.

What was emphasized by City officials at the MPC hearing was the “final solution” – that being a major parking structure built at the hospital.

But this “final solution” with the province could very well take even longer. Firstly, there are two government bureaucracies involved here – AHS and Alberta Infrastructure. Who will ultimately decide to pay what and when is anyone’s guess.

And then two days after last week’s MPC meeting the province announced a projected deficit of $4.76-billion in its first-quarter update to the 2010-11 budget. With that in mind, and the ongoing controversies around the pending closures of two Red Deer nursing homes (an issue the province has not convincingly explained as being anything close to being fiscally prudent), the Alberta government may not have the stomach, will or even vision to finally proceed with the parkade – at least until shortly before the next provincial election when desperate times trigger the usual capital project promises.

In the meantime, the City and many hospital workers and area residents could once again be left to wonder why the province continues to procrastinate, especially when it makes sense to put the cancer care addition and parkade projects together, and that a parkade would be a revenue generator to offset the overall cost.

The province, without resorting to spin control messaging, owes Red Deer a simple and better explanation.

Just Posted

Central Alberta dancers ‘shimmy’ for a great cause

Shimmy Mob will take place in more than 169 locations all over the world

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Most Read