Minister makes a good impression

Last week’s coverage (by us) of Alberta Transportation Minister Devin Dreeshen’s visit to Slave Lake was a bit hasty – slapped together at the last minute and not given the kind of prominence it probably deserved. We combined it with the story about the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal award ceremony. It was at that ceremony that Dreeshen made his remarks about highway infrastructure, and answered questions on the same topic. The two things (highway infrastructure and medal presentations) could hardly have had less to do with each other, but they both happened at the same time and place, so they were tossed in together in the same news story.

Dreeshen made a pretty good impression. Both M.D. councillors we talked to said that. They had accompanied the minister to the decrepit bridge over the Athabasca River at Smith that morning, and were encouraged by his remarks. They’re optimistic about the chances the bridge and Hwy. 88 resurfacing issue will be taken seriously in provincial budget deliberations.

That’s far from an assurance that anything will be done in 2023, but it’s probably the best that can be hoped for at the moment.

To his credit, outgoing Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn has taken up the cause; it was him that talked Dreeshen into visiting, we assume. Whoever replaces him as MLA should be aware they are going to be hearing early and often from the M.D., and expecting continued advocacy.

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