The provincial government’s “Building Alberta” brand name will be banished under new Premier Jim Prentice.
During a speech at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention in Edmonton this week, Prentice promised municipal leaders that they “won’t see any signs with my name on them” after opposition parties repeatedly criticized the signs as political advertisements for the Progressive Conservative government.
In a news conference, Prentice went even further by saying the public won’t see “Building Alberta” branding on future government advertisements and the current signs with former premier Alison Redford’s name will get “an entirely new face.”
“I’m not prepared to invest dollars removing them but eventually, there will be a new face on them. The point I made was they won’t have my name on them,” said Prentice, adding the signs will be updated after an upcoming report card on infrastructure.
“At the right moment in time, once we have the report card format in place, there will be reporting that I think can be usefully affixed to the signs but for the moment, they will remain as they are. I’m focused on getting things built, not signage.”
The signs have grown to symbolize the lack of progress on government infrastructure projects with Wildrose MLA Rod Fox recently pointing out that many proposed school sites, such as the one in Blackfalds, have only seen signs since 2012.
“We have an empty field, a partisan sign and a promise that’s just about overdue, but no new schools,” Fox said.
In January, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and the Wildrose Opposition pegged the total cost of the provincial government’s “Building Alberta” campaign at over $1.7 million, including television, Internet and print advertisements.
Speaker Gene Zwozdesky previously ruled that a “Building Alberta” mail-out advertising a multi-year MLA pay freeze was in contempt of the legislature.