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Saturday, May 27, 2006


Opening of Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Pavilion  

Big Valley, AB - Speaking Notes of Honourable Shirley McClellan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance

Thank you Leslie…

Good afternoon… Mayor Len Waters, and ladies and gentlemen.

It’s my pleasure to be here – not only as Minister of Finance and as Deputy Premier on behalf of Premier Ralph Klein – but as your MLA.

The railway industry has played a significant historic role in not only the development of our province over the past century, but also in the development of our nation, connecting communities, people and goods in the most efficient way possible.

While end products and key drivers of our economy – such as oil and gas – get a lot of attention these days, it is important for all Albertans (and Canadians) to remember that railways continue to play a huge, but often unrecognized, role in the economy — by moving those goods and raw materials to export and to market.

There is also no better way that I know of to see our vast, beautiful country, than to travel by rail.

So, in honor of the trailblazers and risktakers involved in maintaining and operating Canadian railways over the years, who remind us of the railways importance to our past, our present, and the contributions it will continue to make in our future, we celebrate the opening of this wonderful pavilion.

Since Big Valley is already known for significant railway and local heritage preservation, the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame has certainly found the right home.

This has been made possible by many individuals and organizations; I’d like to congratulate Mr. Harry Stuber and the Canadian Northern Society for the work to develop the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Pavilion as part of the Big Valley Railway Heritage Site, and the Railway Association of Canada, and acknowledge Alberta Lotteries for providing funding.

The Alberta Lottery Fund is separate from all other Government revenue and supports thousands of volunteer, public and community-based initiatives annually.

The Fund is administered as part of the Ministry of Gaming, through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. My colleague, Gordon Graydon, the Minister of Gaming oversees the Alberta Lottery Fund budget and administers lottery-funded programs.

And this is a fine example of important historical and cultural initiatives that are happening in rural communities, and supported by the Government of Alberta.

Thank you.

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