July 13, 2011 9:29 am

Calgary ring road deal to be reworded for Tsuu T’ina First Nation:Ouellette

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CALGARY – Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette says the government will reword an agreement to ease concerns of the Tsuu T’ina First Nation over a potential southwest ring road.

Ouellette said Tuesday that the 2009 deal is still on the table and wording will change to guarantee a land swap.

The offer had the band giving up 400 hectares of land in exchange for $275 million and another 2,000 hectares of land that the province would make best efforts in acquiring.

But members of the First Nation voted it down, and Ouellette says band officials told him it wasn’t explained well enough to their people.

The minister says provincial officials and those from the First Nation have been talking and if they can’t work it out, he and the chief will talk and “make it work.”

He’s optimistic a deal could be signed for the federal government to OK by the time Premier Ed Stelmach leaves office in October.

“We’re saying we respect everything they want, we will clarify, no matter how the wording is, they’re going to get what that deal is saying,” Ouellette said.

(CHQR, The Canadian Press)

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