ALBERTA

Alberta PCs Pass Resolutions Calling For Toll Roads And Railway Ferries

11/16/2014 04:21 EST | Updated 01/15/2015 05:59 EST
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BANFF, Alta. - Delegates at the Alberta Progressive Conservative convention have endorsed toll roads, railway ferries and rules for drivers who use medical marijuana.

The resolutions passed at the weekend convention could form some of the policy planks for the Alberta Conservatives going into the 2016 provincial election.

Ivonne Martinez, the vice-president of policy for the PC party, said a toll road system is seen as a way to pay for the financing of Alberta's new major highways.

There's also a resolution to allow municipalities to use offsite levies to help reduce the residential property tax burden arising from building new fire halls, police stations and recreation facilities.

One of the more interesting resolutions is the endorsement of exploring a drive-on, drive-off rail service between Calgary and Edmonton that would enable the transportation of all types of motor vehicles including passengers, cyclists and pedestrians with a trip time not exceeding two hours.

"When you think about the QE2 (Highway) and the amount of cars that go through you can't just build eight different lanes going up and down so the thought was how can we think outside of the box and try and accommodate that transportation?," said Martinez.

"We thought of trains that are already going up and down the road so could we do something like a ferry system in BC where you can go in a half an hour before you load up and have a nice coffee, you get off and there's your car waiting for you."

Delegates also raised concerns about the use of medical marijuana and whether there should be rules in place to suspend their driver's licences in some situations.

"It wasn't about stoned driving. It's more about looking at an issue coming up more and more. Marijuana is being prescribed. How do we deal with that as a society?" Martinez said.

"We have laws for alcohol and other drugs but should we be regulating marijuana use, whether it's medical or not. If you're a bus driver for children and you're on medical marijuana do we need to have any sort of policy?"

Martinez said the resolutions are not binding on the PC government of Premier Jim Prentice but will simply be discussed in the future and possibly dealt with further at next spring's policy convention.

"We will now sit down and try and figure out how that could work. This is kind of like the first step of developing a position. These are just ideas that people are bringing to the table and we'll see where they go from here," she said.

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