Land swap likely to seal ring road deal: minister
Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette says a clearer offer on land being offered to the Tsuu T'ina to make way for Calgary's southwest ring road will likely seal the deal.
Ouellette said Tuesday concern about the government's "best efforts" to assemble land for the First Nation likely scuttled the deal when it was put to a referendum two years ago.
The offer had the band giving up 400 hectares of land in exchange for $275 million and another 2,000 hectares of land that the province would make best efforts in acquiring.
"I told my officials to sit down with their officials and make sure that the niggles that's in there, that they didn't like, is looked after," he said.
The Tsuu T'ina First Nation has authorized its chief and council to reopen talks with the province about allowing the road on its land. Sixty-eight per cent of band members voted at the end of June in favour of seeking a new agreement.
Ouellette said direct talks between the government and Tsuu T'ina officials would start soon, but if that didn't produce a deal in short order he'd be willing to meet personally with Tsuu T'ina Chief Sandford Big Plume.
The minister is optimistic a deal can be reached before October when Premier Ed Stelmach leaves office.
With files from The Canadian Press