By Erika Mathieu
Southern Alberta Newspapers
The Highway 3 Twinning Association, represented by Division 5 Coun. Eric Van Essen, approached council seeking updated letters of support as the association explores all avenues to get a commitment to fund the remaining un-twinned portions of the highway.
The association, according to van Essen, “is negotiating with the federal government through the National Trade Corridor Fund to twin Highway 3.” During the regular meeting on May 17, Coun. Van Essen informed council that the federal government, “has requested letters of support from local impacted municipalities, associations, and business stakeholders.”
He added, that although many people have provided a letter of support, the association is seeking updated letters since “most of the letters are dated in 2017-2019,” he explained, and added, “it may appear stale. “We would like to have the letters refreshed,” so the project can remain top of mind.
“On behalf of Lethbridge County, we are pleased to provide a letter of support for the twinning of all remaining single-lane sections of Highway 3 in southern Alberta. Highway 3 is a vital supply chain transportation corridor key for access for the market in southern Alberta and a core transportation route of the national highway system.”
The letter of support highlights the value of such a transportation corridor, particularly as the region expands Canada’s premier food corridor in the coming years and decades. “A fully twinned highway would be a valued component for the movement of goods and services within and through the region, and therefore will be an asset to regional provincial and national economic growth,” and said the continued investment in the long-lobbied project, “will be a winner on many fronts with far-reaching benefits,” including economic impacts and improved safety for drivers along the corridor.
“For safety reasons alone, the twinning of Highway 3 deserves a high priority.”
A friendly amendment was made by Coun. Lorne Hickey, who pointed out, “Would it not be best to include the agri-food corridor in some language in there because the federal government is putting up some money for that?”
CAO Ann Mitchell said the letter would be amended with the requested updated language, and added, “the (upcoming) Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference, may be an opportunity to lobby at that venue,” as well, said Mitchell
A motion that administration draft a letter of support prior to the deadline with amended language was passed.