It’s pre-election spending season!

Alberta government ministers are getting out into communities lately. A cynic might say it’s merely an election ploy. Of course it is an election ploy, but that doesn’t mean some good won’t come out of it.

For example. Devin Dreeshen, the minister of transportation and economic corridors was scheduled to visit Slave Lake on Feb. 4 (we assume he did, but this was written before that date). Press the flesh, hand out some medals, answer a few questions – that sort of thing. Perhaps more importantly, he got a first-hand look at the rickety old bridge over the Athabasca River at Smith, and maybe even a memorable pothole tour of Hwys. 2 and 88.

Meanwhile, not one, not two, but three government ministers are expected to visit Wabasca to make an announcement about funding for rural broadband enhancements. Apparently the government has plopped down a cool $390 million to make internet service better for rural and remote folks. The visit was actually supposed to be on Jan. 26, but didn’t happen for some reason.

With a provincial election coming up about three months from now, it’s safe to assume more of this sort of thing will be happening. I.e. government ministers showing up and making spending announcements. It’s something opposition party reps simply can’t do. They’ll be doing other things, but promising bridges, pavement and better internet they can only do in a hypothetical sort of way. The government guys have actual cash to hand out, and if they’re anything like every other government in history, we could be seeing some of it in pretty short order.

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