Alberta premier clarifies “squander” remark in speech copy on Oiler arena

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford is clarifying her position on taxpayers money being used to fund a new rink for the Edmonton Oilers.

In an advance copy of a speech given to the media, the premier was to criticize money that was—quote—”squandered”—on a new downtown arena for the NHL team.

Redford deleted the passage from the speech and never uttered the words.

She says it’s not what she believes, and that municipalities can use provincial infrastructure dollars as they see fit.

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She says many people with different viewpoints in her office had input into the speech, and says that part was inadvertently left in on the media copies.

Edmonton city council has committed more than $300 million toward a cost-shared rink with the Oilers, and may have to use another $100 million in provincial infrastructure money to cover a cost shortfall.