Alberta's beetle battle to cost $800 million

Alberta's campaign against the mountain pine beetle will cost up to $800 million over the next two decades, predicts provincial Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight.

Giving an update on the "war" against the rice-sized bug, Knight said the fight to bring the beetle population back in line with historic norms could take 20 years and draw hundreds of millions from the provincial treasury. "I would suggest that those sorts of dollars over a 20-year period would not seem unreasonable," the minister said.

"Given what we see, you know, (in) changes in the climate over the last number of years and a bit of easing of some of our kinda long deep winter freezes, we may want to be sure that we continue the control program."