With an agreement in place with the Robinson family, of the Springbank area, the Alberta government now has 20 per cent of the land it requires to build the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir.
Today, Transportation minister Brian Mason announced the province has acquired 465 acres of land from the Robinson's historic ranch. That land alone amounts to 12 per cent of what is required and is the first major breakthrough after years of strong opposition in the Springbank area.
The agreement includes the relocation of a heritage building that has been in the Robinson family for a century. It will be moved from the current land to the future site of the Robinson ranch so it can be protected and preserved for generations.
Ryan Robinson, who has played a major role in the Don't Damn Springbank movement, was the land sale signatory.
"Our family can move forward and focus on the future of our operations in Rocky View County," states Robinson in a news release. "This agreement creates the certainty our family needs to ensure a future for our children and grandchildren, as well as for the many employees of our operation.”
Robinson was not available for further comment at this writing.
Mason declined to provide the purchase price during a press conference, only saying the province paid market value.
The government continues to pursue other voluntary sales agreements with Springbank landowners, but that's just one of the obstacles remaining for this $372 million project, which remains behind schedule.
The government has not yet responded to Rocky View County's recently determined opposition to the project. It is continuing discussions with the Tsuut'ina Nation, who likewise opposed the project and says the government has failed to provide a meaningful consultation.
The project is under federal regulatory review.
Calgary Not Impressed, Springbank Group Thrilled