Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Premier Not Safe From Tar Sands Justice!



A heavily guarded Ed Stelmach served pancakes to a crowd of early risers at yesterday's Premier's Capital Ex Breakfast.

Two weeks after an attempted pie attack at the Calgary Stampede, a beefed-up security team ensured a similar incident wasn't possible.

Plainclothes security staff as well as bicycle cops and uniformed sheriffs kept an eye on the crowd as Stelmach shook hands and spoke with visitors.

A protester dressed like Batman was quickly removed from the Legislature grounds and an activist was asked to leave when he interrupted the media question period by asking about the environmental destruction caused by Alberta's tarsands.

Stelmach's security team closed in around him momentarily when a reporter from independent radio station CJSR continued the line of questioning.

The premier addressed the issue briefly before the discussion moved to an announcement made earlier in the morning.

Stelmach used his first pancake breakfast as premier to announce that the Alberta government is using a public-private partnership model to construct the North Edmonton Ring Road.

"This latest addition to the Edmonton ring road will complete almost 90% of Anthony Henday Drive, significantly improving transportation in and around Edmonton," said Stelmach.

"When completed, Edmonton's ring road will provide a hub for Alberta's transportation network."

The new road, scheduled for completion by 2011, will form a half-circle around the north side of Edmonton, connecting Yellowhead Trail in the west with the Manning Drive freeway.

Stelmach also announced that plans for the final phase of the project - a nine-kilometre road connecting Manning Drive freeway with Yellowhead Trail in the east - will also be moving ahead.

This phase will include the construction of a new bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.

The premier refused to give an estimated cost for the project, saying that doing so would jeopardize a fair and competitive bidding process.

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