‘Absolutely necessary:’ Alberta buys more land for flood mitigation project in Calgary

‘Absolutely necessary:’ Alberta buys more land for flood mitigation project in Calgary

The Alberta government has now acquired one fifth of the land it needs for a controversial reservoir west of Calgary that would help protect the city from another massive flood.

Transportation Minister Brian Mason says the province bought another two square kilometres of land from the Robinson family, which has a cattle ranch in the Springbank area.

Mason declined to say how much was spent on the purchase, or how much money has been set aside for the remaining land needed for the $432-million project.

He says it’s unfortunate that ranching families with deep roots in the area have to leave, but there’s no alternative to protect Calgary from a repeat of the 2013 deluge.

The flood overwhelmed the zoo, Stampede grounds, much of downtown and several neighbourhoods and the province says a similar event would cause $700 million in damage.

Ryan Robinson, who signed the deal with the government on behalf of his family, says he understands the province’s decision to build the reservoir was not easy.

“Governments must make tough decisions sometimes, and we respect the steps taken to resolve this very complicated issue,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

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