In that Provincial story that just doesn’t change and won’t go away the Delta Optimist’s Ian Jacques lets us know that Peter Fassbender, minister of community sport, culture development and minister responsible for TransLink has spoken. Despite the fact that the Federal Government has earmarked 2.2 billion dollars for transit and for the replacement of the Patullo Bridge, and nothing for the massive multi billion dollar proposed Massey Bridge, the Province is doggedly determined to go forward with their bridge reincarnation of the Massey Tunnel.
And there is a bit of a backhand at the Federal government and the Metro Mayors too-the Province is not going to match the 2.2 billion dollars in transit funding provided by the Federal government, insisting that the Metro region pony up with 33 per cent of the funding. But somehow the Province will have 3.5 billion dollars (at current estimates) for this bridge, despite Metro Mayors’ protest that it is overbuilt, in the wrong place, on a floodplain river delta, further compromising the Fraser River estuary and decimating the most arable farmland in Canada. But never mind, back to the Provincial government’s point of view.
“Fassbender said according to the feds, the project is not eligible because it is already in effect underway and the transit funding announced is for rapid transit projects on existing or new infrastructure.” The Mayor of Delta (and the only mayor of the Metro Mayors supportive of the Massey Bridge) provided a positive spin. “We have a great deal of dollars coming from the feds relative to the Alex Fraser, the interchanges at Highway 17, at the weigh scales and the bottom of Nordel Way, so we have a lot of federal money coming to Delta and I’m ecstatic about that. What we are doing, and have continued to do, is talk with Ottawa and all work together to try and get additional funding for the bridge and if that happens, great, but it doesn’t change the situation.”
The situation is clear that the Province wants this bridge at all costs. Imagine what 3.5 billion dollars could do for improved public transportation in the region. And remember that the Province valued this overbuilt bridge instead of a more comprehensive metro Vancouver public transportation network.
“…. the province valued this overbuilt bridge instead of a more comprehensive Metro Vancouver public transportation network.”
You nailed it, Sandy.
The BC Libs do not believe in the planning process, therefore they don’t believe in the betterment of the common good. They have consciously and deliberately divided the urban from the suburban and rural in the Metro, even though they have several urban MLAs. Meanwhile they have raked in billions from the property transfer tax from urban real estate. Car dependency has grown disproportionately to demographics under their tenure.
The BC Libs are an arrogant lot led by someone who cheekily announces adherence to environmental principles, then does everything she can to raise emissions through guaranteeing methane release from LNG, building road infrastructure to a last-century standard appropriate for cities like Atlanta or Dubai, and removing any notion of raising the inadequate carbon tax to fund efforts to fight climate change. Then she has the gall to stand in front of a bank of cameras attending one of our record-breaking forest fires and state that “climate change has hit BC hard” without further elaboration on how her government would fight it.
Much praise has been heaped on them as sound fiscal managers while they quietly slip debt measured in billions into the crown corp ledgers and never address long-term strategies to improve the efficacy Number One economic engine in BC: The big city. When they do address funding public transit, it’s always without fail from the standpoint of the oh-so generous 33%, which is 7% less that they take from the city, essentially making their favourite scapegoats (the mayors and local taxpayers) subsidize the province.
Governance in this province is royally screwed up, and we cannot expect anything of value from the BC Libs that will open their eyes to the kind of world fast approaching or to make for a brighter future, with the exception of their wealthy donors.
Will the Liberals go the PPP route like the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges? We may as well pay for it for the next fifty years or so, you know, like a wonderful legacy.