Edmonton

Federal Building, once home of Skypalace, should be sold, Wildrose says

The provincially-owned Federal Building in downtown Edmonton should be sold to make up a huge shortfall in government revenues, the opposition Wildrose party says.
Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw wants the Alberta government to sell the Federal Building and use the proceeds towards easing the province's deficit. (CBC)

The provincially-owned Federal Building in downtown Edmonton should be sold to make up a huge shortfall in government revenues, the opposition Wildrose party says.

The building, once proposed as the home of the so-called Skypalace, should be among assets the government puts on the market, Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw said Tuesday.

“Selling the building should be a no-brainer,” he told a news conference. “It should come with the added bonus of helping close the deficit gap this fiscal year.”

The Federal Building became controversial last year when CBC first revealed a luxury penthouse was being constructed on the 11th floor for former Premier Alison Redford and her teenage daughter.

The penthouse was canned but renovations continued, $100 million over budget and three years behind schedule.

The building will provide offices for MLAs and government staff. The move, scheduled to start next week, will cost $9 million, the Wildrose says.

Premier Jim Prentice is mulling a number of measures to raise revenues and cut expenditures in light of dropping oil prices. He says the province faces a $6 billion drop in revenues.

The province is forecast to end the fiscal year with a $500 million deficit.