A personal note from Greg Clark
For me, flood mitigation is personal.
My family and I lived through the 2013 flood, and I experienced first-hand the impact it had on us, our neighbours and our community. I know that we can never allow it to happen again.
Early on I recognized there was a need for an organization that could work with the government to ensure action was taken to rebuild our community, and to prevent future disasters. A group of community-minded people, including myself, created the Calgary River Communities Action Group (CRCAG). One of the group’s primary roles is to advocate the Government of Alberta to construct flood mitigation on the Elbow River to protect the City of Calgary from another large-scale flood.
Let’s remember why we need flood mitigation. The flood of 2013 caused $6 billion in damage to downtown Calgary, businesses, river communities and government infrastructure. Downtown Calgary was shut down for weeks, taxpayers were on the hook for billions in repairs, and most importantly, five people lost their lives.
In my first term as your MLA, I continued to push the government for flood mitigation, and more specifically the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir. Extensive engineering reports show that SR1 is the right choice because it’s further downstream so it can accommodate the types of flooding we saw in 2005 and 2013. It’s also out of the flow of the river so it has a far lower environmental impact, and protects communities downstream of Calgary including Siksika Nation and Medicine Hat. And, it’s cheaper than other alternatives.
I have advocated for the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir both inside and the Legislature, where I raised this issue nearly 30 times. I also pushed hard to remind Albertans why flood mitigation is important. This included publishing three OpEd columns in the Calgary Herald, attending every single public forum on flood issues in southern Alberta, and attending the Rocky View County meeting to ensure they heard both sides of the story.
My opponent will suggest that the only way to ensure Springbank is built is to elect a government MLA. Remember that the outcome of this election is far from certain, and the Alberta Party is running to win. If we do find ourselves in opposition, I have a strong track record of working with two different governments on the flood file; the PCs from the time I co-founded CRCAG and the NDP after I was elected in 2015.
No matter who forms the next government, Calgary-Elbow is best served by a representative who understands the flood file and who will not stop fighting until mitigation is built.
And why vote for a party that hasn’t committed to the Springbank project? The headline the day after the federal funding announcement says it all: “Jason Kenney unclear on Springbank dam stance…” Urgent projects like flood mitigation aren’t built as political favours. They’re built because it’s the right thing to do.
If I am re-elected MLA for Calgary-Elbow I will continue to push for flood mitigation to protect downtown Calgary and our cherished river communities. I hope to earn your vote.