Alberta courthouses and correctional facilities to be upgraded through infrastructure deal

·2 min read
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda stands near the electric heating system in the Old Court of Appeal building in Calgary. According to the provincial government, it will soon to be replaced by high efficiency boilers.
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda stands near the electric heating system in the Old Court of Appeal building in Calgary. According to the provincial government, it will soon to be replaced by high efficiency boilers.

(Government of Alberta)

Alberta and the Government of Canada will provide nearly $12 million in joint infrastructure funding for repairs and upgrades to six provincial buildings in Calgary, Edmonton and Wetaskiwin.

The upgrades are part of Alberta's Recovery Plan, the UCP government initiative that seeks to create jobs and diversify the economy during the pandemic, and the federal government's COVID-19 Resilience Stream, a cost share plan for public infrastructure projects.

Eighty per cent of the $11.6-million investment will be provided by the federal government — a contribution of $9.2 million — while the Alberta government will invest $2.32 million.

The buildings that will be rejuvenated include the Calgary and Edmonton Remand Centres, the Calgary Correctional Centre, the Old Court of Appeal in Calgary, the Sir Frederick W. Haultain Building in Edmonton and the Wetaskiwin Courthouse.

"Those buildings require immediate maintenance," said Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda at the project's unveiling.

"It's providing jobs at a time when Alberta's unemployment rate remains so stubbornly high. In total, 65 good-paying construction related jobs will result from today's announcement."

Project 'shovel-ready and shovel worthy'

One of the recommendations from the Mackinnon Report, Panda said, was to upgrade old buildings instead of building expensive, newer infrastructure.

The buildings chosen by the government adhered to this advice, he said.

"Alberta needed jobs right now, so we looked at shovel-ready and shovel-worthy projects."

Liberal MP Jim Carr also spoke at the announcement as special representative for the Prairies, and on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna.

He said the project is a rewarding example of the two governments working together.

"These investments improve safety, reduce maintenance costs and help insure they remain functional and sustainable for years to come," Carr said.