Think of the current Federal election as the warm up for the next main event, the municipal elections in British Columbia coming November 2022. There is thankfully only two more weeks for the social media blitz and videos eschewing who you should vote for federally and why.
But the messaging and media around the Conservative candidate in Delta (running against Liberal incumbent, lawyer and cabinet minister Carla Qualtrough) Garry Shearer trumps it all.
In social media flash ads Mr. Shearer is saying that if elected, the Conservatives will immediately begin digging at the Massey Tunnel for the new proposed crossing. I am not making this up.
There’s no mention of federal ecological reviews, the environmental assessment which will take three years if the immersed tunnel is built. No mention of partnership with the Province or the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council.
In August Delta Member of Parliament member Ms. Qualtrough had already confirmed that the Federal government funding for the chosen eight lane immersed tunnel would be forthcoming.
The challenge of course is how to pay for the cost share of a new immersed tunnel crossing in British Columbia, and whether that would be user pay, road pricing, congestion pricing or some type of tax. The fact that the Port of Vancouver relies on the tunnel for the movement of goods from Deltaport suggests that the port should also be ponying up for paying some of the bill.
So far the Federal Conservatives have been quiet on that.