Michael Harcourt was Mayor of Vancouver for six years and Premier of this province for five years. In the Vancouver Sun editorial section Mike  presents the case about why replacing the Massey Tunnel with a bridge is not only unsustainable but a $4.7 BILLION dollar, not a  $3.5 billion dollar bridge when the bill comes in.

Mike notes that “According to an Oxford University study, bridges internationally over the last 50 years have averaged a 35-per-cent cost overrun. Look at our recent massive cost overruns and ongoing subsidies for the Port Mann Bridge” .  But just like the Port Mann bridge, the Province is  “proceeding unilaterally, without proper consultation with the mayors. The overarching problem with the stand-alone, unilaterally imposed Massey Bridge is that it is not part of a longer-term vision and transportation plan for Metro Vancouver. We have 2.5 million people now, with two million more expected in Metro Vancouver over the next 50 years. How does the Massey Bridge address that challenge? Not in any coherent, demonstrable way”.

“Fortunately, there is a $1.7-billion dual Massey Tunnel alternative. Not only is it at least half the cost, there are other advantages”,  including conserving the most arable land in Canada, maintaining critical migratory bird habitat, less seismic vulnerability and faster to design and build. It would also mean that the existing tunnel could be adapted and there would be less impact on the Fraser River south arm with dredging that would disrupt the “greatest salmon habitat in the world”.

“If that’s not enough, the other big problem is that a stand-alone Massey toll bridge proposal would just shift the traffic congestion from that route to the toll-less Alex Fraser Bridge and the Oak Street and Knight Street toll-less bridges. “

Oddly the Province did not undertake a scoping study for a twin tunnel, and has found lots of reasons to say that a massively overbuilt bridge is the right thing to do. Like the Port Mann bridge, Mike Harcourt maintains that  “unilateral, provincially imposed transportation projects such as the Massey Bridge proposal are a bad way to address these challenges, a bad way to govern.The Massey Tunnel alternative should be part of a 20-year bridge replacement plan, starting with the Pattullo Bridge, which should be replaced immediately”.

Mike notes that all bridges should have modest tolling that goes directly to Metro Vancouver transportation improvements. People are going to continue to come to Metro Vancouver, and the right infrastructure needs to be built in the right place.

“The $4.7-billion Massey Bridge proposal should not go ahead. Instead, the $1.7-billion dual tunnel idea should be built, together with a unitary tolling system. Let’s get moving!”



    1. Port Metro Vancouver and the housing development community. Also Tsawwassen Mills. Also the road and bridge builders. Car dealers. Motordom. I guess that the Liberal Party must see a benefit in terms of donations and votes.

    2. Everyone benefits. The question is are there better alternatives, perhaps more cost effective ?
      A ” no bridge nor tunnel only more bike lanes and buses ” as envisioned by far too many on this blog or by far too many on the Mayors Council on Transportation benefits far too few. We need more road, bridge or tunnel capacity in a growing region that is serving as the only major port region to a growing Asia. And yes, we need more bike lanes and rapid transit, too.

  1. Wise arguments by Mike H.
    A little late though as construction appears imminently? Why not 3 years ago ?
    The issue missing seems indeed a MetroVan wide bridge/tunnel plan that ought to include ALL bridges or tunnels incl to N Shore. A dysfunctional planning process were both local socialist anti-economic-growth-cars-are-bad naval gazing mayors are as much at fault as a pig headed provincial government.
    MetroVan is a major port region and the only major Asian port region from a growing Canada to a growing Asian region. Clearly we need far more bridge or tunnel capacity and also rapid transit.

    1. Thomas the person who is really late is the provincial liberals. They do not put the public interest first they think more about their connect friends.

      1. And yet, they get continually re-elected as they represent the highest level of overall public interest. How measured? The current governing party of BC has won the popular vote since 1996, and has governed since 2001.
        This is reality. This is your reality.

        1. Quite right.
          And, a progressive opinion poll showed overwhelming support fort the new Bridge. So if the NDP care to campaign against it they will certainly lose local support.

        2. Successive Social Credit/Liberal governments and their automobile/fossil fuel masters have got you right where they want you Eric. Create a car-dependent society and you’ll demand more car dependence. This is not surprising.
          I’m so glad to be free of that limitation in the city. Car(e)free! independent of the strangulation of a single choice. If it were just “live and let live” I would simply pity you.But you ruin my environment with your addiction.

        3. Ha! That’s exactly what they said when people were riding horses that pooped all over the place. My great grandfather had to get a motorised automobile to relieve the citizenry of the poisonous stench.
          *deleted as per editorial policy. Please respect them * My vehicle is a mobile workshop with hundreds of kilos of essential equipment that I haul around when working. Hardly an addiction.

        4. Yes Eric, I’ve heard your excuses repeatedly. I suppose you need to take all your tools when you go grocery shopping, out for dinner or two a movie. How many trips do you make other than by car?
          “That’s exactly what they said…”
          Your great grandfather sounds like a much more cooperative person that you. You should learn from him rather than wreck everyone else’s right to clean air.

        5. … I noticed you avoided the question. Not surprising since you can use the excuse of tools only inasmuch as it applies to work.
          And clearly you don’t understand the myriad ways your car addiction hurts others. An electric car only eliminates one of a dozen problems.
          *deleted as per editorial policy* please refer to policy.

        6. *deleted as per editorial policy * don’t do any of the shopping, except picking up the occasional case of champagne. Last time we went out to a music gig we walked. Movies? Meh, Turner Classic.

        7. To all those saying “I got rid of my car and now solely rely on transit”, I will say this….
          Great for you, but not practical if one wants to go anywhere. Case in point: How do I get up to Lillooet, or around on Van. Island ?? Getting rid of BC Rail passenger service to Prince George was a travesty. No VIA Rail service on Van. Island either since 2011. So with no car how do I get around the province ? Greyhound has diminishing service each yr…..bring back ALTERNATIVES to car travel, like we had in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, & I will GLADLY ditch the personal auto. Campbell, Clark etc have cut the head off the head of travel options for the AVG. province resident !

        8. Billy, the question is not a simplistic either / or. It’s why allow a monster to crash the party when you can invite a princess in advance?
          A 10-lane bridge and 21-lane interchange are utterly excessive, and the government lies about the disastrous effects it will have on the region’s transportation efficacy when the lanes inevitably plug up, not to mention the environment.
          There are far more reasonable alternatives, all with dedicated transit from the get go.

      2. @ Drew. Yes, that explains why the BC Libs denigrate the Metro government while favouring the suburbs and hinterlands. But this is a democracy where a government is supposed to rule for the overall common good, not just pave the way for their party-affiliated SoF riding constituents, and certainly not exclusively for their LNG and real estate donors. Right?
        In practice, their rule is quite divided. I remember when the SE corner of the province made news when they felt ignored by Dave Barrett’s NDP in the early 70s and put up a rhetorical separation trial balloon to join Alberta. That generated lots of snickering in Alberta at the time, BTW, and made the national news for a day.
        I wonder how much rhetorical impact the urban Metro would have if it decided to separate from the province and take its wealth with it? My guess, if the 20 of 21 mayors published a statement to that effect, and asked Ottawa to host a constitutional conference to look at pulling cities out from under provincial control and to establish a level of its own taxation and control over their own destinies, it would shake Victoria up more than an 8.5 trembler no matter which party was in power.

  2. More on the Massey Bridge boondoggle: “Some media outlets responded to the report with balanced stories, including the possibility of improving public transit. Others uncritically repeated the misinformation in the CAA report. An article in the Surrey Leader, for example, used data from the study to make the ridiculous claim that replacing the four-lane Massey Tunnel with a controversial 10-lane bridge could “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 255,000 kg each year.”

  3. In the commentary Mike H also writes; “…Then we need to replace the Queensborough, Knight Street, Oak, First and Second Narrows bridges and, by the way, include transit provisions…”
    Just twinning the tunnel would not be sufficient if transit provisions were included. With the new bridge the rail transit option is there. With the willingness expressed by the federal government and the cooperation assured from the provincial government for transit improvements an extension of the Canada Line, which now terminates just up the road in Richmond, is something the province and Metro Vancouver should be considering.
    It is important to consider all the work the Tsawwassen First Nation is doing to bring forth economic stability and growth to their community. Substantial new retail, commercial and residential development right next to the main BC Ferries Terminal is calling for transit. The instant success of the Canada Line demonstrates that this extension should be rail. It would be very wrong to damage the aspirations of this Coast Salish Nation by changing the plan for the new bridge.
    The other five bridges that Mike Harcourt mentions have various owners. I guess nobody knows what Metro thinks about replacing any of them but he’s right. They all need replacing.

    1. You want to spend billions on rail with the justification that it would benefit approximately 215 first nations people (50% of 430 is what the TFN website says)? Hah. Wow. How about a bridge to a barely inhabited island in Alaska?
      In most parts of BC, 230 people barely justify a power line or a road that isn’t gravel. I’m all for building a well developed transportation infrastructure system, but this level of argument is pretty weak.
      Also, it’s much easier to build rail in a tunnel than on a bridge. Tunnels are much shallower than a bridge is tall, so the approaches are much shorter. A rail enabled bridge would be immensely long unless it uses something like linear induction motors (aka skytrain) to allow for steeper grades.

      1. Maybe some people have never been to Tsawwassen. It’s in the centre of Delta, which has a population of over 100,000 and is growing fast. Particularly since the approval of the massive Southlands project. That alone is over 500 acres and they expect over 3,000 new residents there alone. Billions are also going in to expand the Delta port facilities which already has 3,300 employees. Tsawwassen is also is the main BC Ferry terminal.
        There’s much more south of the river than just those living on First Nations land.

        1. Ladner and Tsawassen both have populations of roughly 20K, North Delta has roughly 50K.
          In contrast, the Langleys are near 150K, the North Shore is roughly 250K.
          With such small populations Ladner and Tsawassen barely justify a B-Line style rapid bus service…

        2. @ Eric, South Delta is 11 km east of Massey with no direct road or rail connections and little opportunity to benefit from a single rail line from the west. It may be better to connect South Delta to a SkyTrain loop in Surrey, or LRT to King George or even the new bridge from Boundary Rd to Tilbury proposed by Urbinflux earlier. South Surrey and White Rock are 20 km from Massey on the #99, but with 75,000 pop, it’s doubtful the numbers would work for rail, except to Surrey’s critical mass due north. The numbers are certainly not going to work for road traffic on a 10-lane mega-bridge.
          In that light, perhaps the only way for rail to work SoF is to build long stretches of multiple LRT lines to connect the South Delta + Surrey pop together over vast open farmland to South Surrey. However, running a rail line to an exclusively car-accessed ferry terminal so far away from the urban pop is dubious at best.
          Ladner and Tsawwassen are the closest communities to Massey, but with 41,000 pop between them, the ridership just won’t be there. If you think Tsawwassen Mills will generate urban densities on saturated farm land, then I’m Bill Gates.

        3. Actually Alex, you enter Delta while half way through the tunnel. Everything beyond the tunnel is Delta, including Tsawwassen. Delta includes all of Ladner too. It continues east all the way to 120th Street.
          “Quick facts
          Delta is a district municipality in British Columbia, and forms part of Greater Vancouver. Located south of Richmond, it is bordered by the Fraser River to the north, the United States to the south and the city of Surrey to the east.”
          Nevertheless, if we ascertain that rail is impractical then a wider highway, as the government is building, should suffice.

        4. I’m surprised Peter Ladner hasn’t interjected to advise Alex that the community of Ladner is in fact located in what is officially known as south Delta.
          Once the bridge is built there should be a beautiful vista from the bridge across the village of Ladner.

        5. Jurisdictionally speaking, you’re right. Geographically speaking, there’s sure a lot of open space to cover between settlements. Gertrude’s U-pick Pumpkin and Berry Farm is also in the heart of Delta.
          I see the mega-Massey bridge as a secret precursor to mining Burns Bog for a superport (that was actually proposed once), and the plastering of farmland with vinyl, stucco and asphalt. Only then will your concrete monolith make sense, based on the urbanism precepts of 75 years ago, so rapturously poised above Ladner.

        6. Glad to see that you are back on terra firma. Yes, the ALR certainly does space out the settlements with pretty berry fields and pumpkin patches. Norman Rockwell would have a field day, no pun intended.
          I suppose the questions really are whether Gregor can build 50 storey Passive mega blocks quick enough or if he’s going to put up some drawbridges, or if people will continue to go further out to the ‘burbs to find themselves a home.

    2. Well said, Eric.
      Looking forward to the day I can take a subway/LRT from UBC to Canada Line and then from there to Ferry Termnal, Tsawwassen, Delta, Richmond and N Shore.
      Buses: so 20th century. Until then, a car is the only viable solution for anyone that values their time (and not just money) i.e. why take 4 buses in 2 h when one can take a car that takes 1/2 h with your choice of music, temperature and time of day.

      1. I also look forward to taking the Canada line all the way to the ferry terminal & the north shore The canada line bridge across the north arm cost $10 million So no need for a $4 billion bridge . Use the $4Billion to Extend the canada line to both the North shore & ferry terminal

        1. Yup. This comprehensive plan is missing. The referendum plan was Mickey Mouse. A new bus here and there and a few extra LRT stations. Wooppee doo .. A bold plan taking into account the next 20-40 years is needed that includes new bridges, new tunnels, new LRT lines, newer/faster/greener buses (not these diesel emitting beats), bike lanes etc ..

        2. The North Arm is shallower, narrower, has minimal clearance requirements, and has a much less complex foundation requirements.
          In short, it’s a whole different beast. They had plural bridges to Lulu Island dating back to the 1910s, but somehow didn’t figure out how to build across to South Delta until the 1959…
          Unless you work for the former Buckland and Taylor, and also know a heck a lot about bridges, tunnels or foundations, then you probably shouldn’t throw these kind of darts.

      2. “why take 4 buses in 2 h when one can take a car that takes 1/2 h with your choice of music, temperature and time of day.”
        As I type this on Wed morning – Google directions show UBC Bus Loop to Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal as a 1 hour 6 minute trip requiring two buses. By car is 48 mins.
        My iPhone with access to pretty much every song ever recorded. Let me show it to you.
        Basic research before commenting – it’s what’s for breakfast.

  4. The longer skytrain bridge to Surrey cost $27million. To justify a $3.7 billion bridge because it would allow a skytrain line is getting into alternative facts territory.

    1. Eric I stand corrected. wikipedia implied $10 million the total cost.. Translink is clear that it was the additional cost for pedestrians &cycles.

      1. I see that on Wikipedia Bob. It’s a reminder that we need to remember that, and perhaps all, sources are not always exactly correct.

        1. The only thing ducky about the local effects of climate change are the increases in frequency and intensity of storm events. These are recorded facts, not theories.
          Even the recent cold is brought to you by La Nina in the context of destabilized jet stream waves caused by the recent warming of the Arctic Ocean in the absence of summer sea ice.

        2. That is what we call Science Denial™. Also illustrates a lack of understanding of data sets, calculation of an average (part of the Grade 5 curriculum), and confusion related to minimum and maximum values of a data set. Sad.

        3. Oh, we understand. It’s like taxes, as we make more money taxes go up and we become poorer. The more it rains the more Metro Vancouver says there’s a drought and we have to wash less. The more it snows, the hotter it is.

  5. Motordom porn. Commuter lust. Builders’ bonanza. More externalized costs for billionaires. Bullshit.
    New book out by New York transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Nicely illustrated.

    1. Yes, subways, pedestrians, small EVs and bikes are all good alternatives for very dense cities like New York or Vancouver.
      Not so viable for less dense parts of MetroVan with far longer distances in a rainy cold climate for 3-4 months of the year !

        1. For some, but others prefer a yard and a detached home. Any region needs both dense areas and spacious ones. Why leave Asia or Europe with their often dirty, dense, very congested cities to get the same here ? We honestly expect that multi-generational ( usually Asian ) families are happier in three condos that a 8000 sq ft house with a quadruple garage ? One size does not fit all. We need variety.

  6. Look at a zoning map of Delta. It’s mostly agricultural land. A massive bridge will bring people and pressure on the ALR for development. That’s really the point of the bridge–of any bridge. If you build a multi lane bridge, development follows. The agricultural land over time will be eaten away. The current BC Liberal Government is very responsive to developers, and not all that interested (it seems to me) in preserving agricultural land. It also wants port development up and down the south arm of the Fraser River, which getting rid of the tunnel will allow. Without these development interests, such a large bridge (rather than an enlarged tunnel) makes no sense. That is what this bridge is all about.

    1. One would expect that in an area with 2.5M folks today, 3M folks in 10-15 years and 4M+ folks in 30-40 years ! Of course a tunnel would have allowed other land use on top, perhaps agricultural or perhaps retail or housing ! Unclear why a deeper tunnel was not considered.
      Does it make sense to grow blueberries or corn on land that is worth $10M+ an acre if developed ? Does it not make sense to bring food in from cheaper places, even if NZ, Mexico, WA or Okanagan ?

    2. nealadams; The government could also be suspected of building the bridge, in part, to assist the Tsawwassen First Nation in their quest for commercial, retail and residential development. What Tsawwassen is doing is fairly massive, in fact it’s certainly one of the largest areas of development underway in Metro Vancouver and Metro has clearly been a close partner to all the development and the plans because Tsawwassen is a member of Metro. They too must like developers.

        1. If the First Nations Chief is on 3 Metro committees and is full member of the Metro Board, and the First Nations’ name is on on the Strategic Plan for Metro and other grand Plans that Metro produces, you get the idea that they are in tight. They do business together all the time. They each know what they all are up to. If any group is making long term Strategic Plans, meeting very frequently and putting each of their names on loads of documents, you have to suspect that they are close partners.
          This is the type of thing that happens all the time.
          “Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay was at the Tsawwassen First Nation last Friday to announce even more grants for infrastructure projects at the TFN and the Corporation of Delta.
          Joined by TFN Chief Bryce Williams, Mayor Lois Jackson, Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton and Metro Vancouver board chair Greg Moore, Findlay, the minister of national revenue, announced millions for infrastructure projects for both communities.”
          – See more at:

        2. I understand the membership on the board and committees. The question was whether Metro as a planning body endorsed the TFN plans. A reference to minutes of meeting reporting on the degree of alignment with Metro plans would show that, if you have it handy.

        3. density/vision plan. Good for them to develop their land. Total FN development now well over $1B in the Lower Mainland.
          No GST on new homes on FN land either
          Removed as per editorial policy

        4. I believe that the Port and the Province were influential here since the Port wanted to use ALR land close to the port to have space for port related industry. Solution was to expand TFN land to the north of the causeway as part of the treaty settlement. Now they could use ALR land because the Province no longer had authority. We will soon see lots of port related industry on the TFN land. It may even become a tax free international trading zone.

        5. The minutes are on the Metro web site. Going through many records where the Chief was present and agricultural land and farming, as well as overall plans were presented and voted on, shows no disagreement whatsoever.
          If you have any inside information otherwise you should say so. Nothing has been reported in the press either that anyone at Metro is in disagreement with the Tsawwassen developments.
          The press did report when some mayors voted against supporting the construction of the Massey Bridge, so one would expect that any disagreement or plans that do not align with those of Metro Vancouver would also be reported on. In the absence of any press or any record of any objection or reservation to the developments from anyone at Metro we can take it as more than only de facto endorsement.

        6. Eric – Is it possible that Metro has no power over development in TFN lands? Do they have veto power over development in any municipality? They do have a vision of walkable/cyclable communities. TFN fits into this vision, however it is clear that the Province does not share that vision.

        7. Yes, I understand the minutes are on the Metro site. I understand that these are no longer reserve lands, but rather treaty lands, and that in this respect TFN is like a municipality. (full support for this, BTW) The treaty negotiation says that the TFN Land Use Plan (2009) will be considered to meet the GVRD Livable Regions Regional Growth Strategy. In that document, alignment with the RGS was claimed because development would focus on living, working, and playing in the same community, minimizing urban sprawl, and so own. The neighbourhood land use plan makes reference to discussions that will have to happen with Metro as part of moving forward. I simply asked if you had a record of endorsement of these plans, as I don’t. You make a lot out of TFN having a seat on the Metro board, which I think is a good thing, but coordinated regional planning should leave a trail of agreements related to that coordination. I haven’t seen such a trail. Have you? I just don’t understand your claim that Metro is a close partner in these developments.

        8. That’s the point Jeff. You seem to be looking for something you can’t find. You probably won’t either find Metro documents confirming their acceptance of, what is it, 70 towers going up in Brentwood, Burnaby. Why, you ask. Acceptance isn’t required. No matter how much money and funds Metro Vancouver spends in planing for the future it’s all just a big wish list and whatever each member decides is accepted.
          The kerfuffle over one bridge is for navel gazers. Over 100 years ago the railroad from Mombassa to Lake Victoria through over 1,000 kilometres of dense East Africa jungle meant building over 1,000 bridges. It took just over four years. And a few people are getting all in a tizzy over one bridge.

        9. And there it is. So when you posted, just above:
          “Metro has clearly been a close partner to all the development and the plans”
          you were just blowing smoke? It took you four subsequent posts to admit that? If you knew you were just making stuff up, and had been caught out, what made you then think it was a good idea to double down? How do you ever expect anything you post to be taken seriously, with behaviour like that? BTW, that one is rhetorical.

        10. Oh dear, using a railway with the nickname of the ‘Lunatic Line’ as an example in a discussion of this bridge seems a bit on the nose Eric.
          “Where it is going, nobody knows, what is the use of it, none can conjecture … It is clearly naught but a lunatic line.”
          “Bridging the River Tsavo was meant to take less than two months. Instead, it took nearly a year as the hundreds of workers drafted in from India, known as “coolies”, fell prey to lions.”

          “From Mombasa on the Indian Ocean across Kenya to Kisumu on Lake Victoria runs the ‘lunatic line’ railway. It is so named because of the project’s huge financial and human cost. For each of its 580 miles, four workers died – an average of 38 each month.”

          Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

        11. We can see what you’re trying to do Jeff.
          As I said before; “the First Nations Chief is on 3 Metro committees and is full member of the Metro Board, and the (Tsawwassen) First Nations’ name is on on the Strategic Plan for Metro and other grand Plans that Metro produces”
          If you don’t think that Metro has endorsed all the developments that have been and continue to go on in Tsawwassen then you should bring something forward.
          You seem to want to imagine a rift or disagreement between two full official members of Metro Vancouver that meet regularly and share many committees, to show a lack of endorsement. It’s a bit like suggesting that General Motors doesn’t endorse Goodyear tires, even though they install them on all their vehicles.
          Do you know something we should all know? Are you hiding something?

        12. You claimed a close partnership, Eric, and then later said there was nothing to find to support that claim. But when called out, we can see you trying furiously to deflect and redirect. No surprise. I said it would take you to the fourth post to admit your nonsense. You just proved me wrong, so are you going for five, or more? Makes one wonder what your motivation is.

        13. Clearly we have two sets of rules: for FN and for everyone else. Some call it equality. I call it racism or Apartheid, made in Canada. We do we allow this in the 21st century ? I thought we had equality under the law ?

        14. Where is the inequality? Metro allowed an ugly mall in Queensborough which is very inaccessible and not close to population centres. Maybe they do not have veto powers over any development.

        15. @Jeff; au contraire. I gave you extensive and ample specific wording and a news article where the Metro chair was present at an event celebrating what Metro endorses. The minutes of meetings are, as we all know, formalities. The real work is done in the studies and documents and those big plans that are far too long to reproduce here on a blog in their entirety.
          The meetings and the minutes are to vote on all those other items.
          Are you too lazy to just go to Metro Vancouver’s web site and take a look? Just Google Metro Vancouver Tsawwassen, if you don’t want to accept the answers to your strange questions.
          I’ve done the work for you and I’ve presented the documents. If you insist on your position being correct and that Metro does not endorse the TFN projects it is up to you to show us perhaps just one example. Can you honestly provide one negative example? You certainly seem to be digging for one. Show us what you have. Stop being shy.

        16. Eric, your claim was of a close partnership. You have failed to provide any evidence for this claim. Now you want me to do your research for you. Six posts and counting.
          Read this, and tell us more about this partnership. When you get to the phrase “a travesty of common sense planning” think about your link back to your partnership evidence. A staff report on the degree of allignment between the area plan and the Regional Growth Strategy would be a good start.

        17. Yes Jeff, you ask again what is the definition of being a close partner? Then you offer an article by our good friend Peter, who, just like Mike Harcourt, rightly tells us that; “No one is suggesting the maddening congestion on Highway 99 doesn’t need fixing.”
          A close partner would be someone on the Metro Vancouver Board that does not express any disagreement with a stated and practiced policy. That’s all of them. Unless, of course, you can advise us otherwise.
          I should tell you that Peter Ladner is no longer on the Metro Vancouver board.
          Yes, many people probably have strong opinions but Peter is really nothing more now than a local journalist, with some SFU bits here and there. You still haven’t found anyone to substantiate your contention. We are interested.
          Until you can come up with something different I maintain my belief that the developments are completely endorsed by Metro Vancouver and the Metro Board. The presence of Greg Moore, the Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, at that federal funding for the TFN and Delta infrastructure grant celebration ceremony really confirms it.

  7. One more thing….where in hecks name were the environmentalists and anti-car types in Victoria when their dtn “blue bridge” was replaced and there was ZERO rail provision on it ? How much would it have truly co$t to “rough in” two steel rails on one side of it for future use for inter-city or commuter service down the line ?? The anti-car types should have been SCREAMING, but there was silence. This is SO short sighted it makes me sick. Once again, get rid of our personal vehicles we are told, but ZERO (or next to no) options for travel if we do ! Please, can someone tell me why rails were not a small part of this big taxpayer-funded project ?? I used to ride the VIA train RIGHT into dtn Victoria….so handy & practical !!

    1. That’s a very good comment, Billy. They will surely regret removing a passenger rail link into Victoria, BC’s capitol no less. I note, though, that the E&N Railway corridor is still largely intact and now terminates behind the Songhees development. However, getting from the corridor to Victoria will now require great expense, not to mention imagination.
      One day the ENR will be a primary, high-capacity commuter service linked to millions of passengers on the ferries, but that won’t be fully realized until mid-century and only if people wake up and preserve the corridor before its sold off.

      1. One day we might get a rail link to South Delta where the main BC Ferries Terminal at Tsawwassen is too.
        It will need well informed and knowledgable public support though.

        1. If you want to play that game, it’s probably cheaper to extend the Canada Line to the far reach of Iona Island, and build a new terminal in a more central location within the city.

        2. Not a bad idea. Iona Island would be a good place to terminate a rail link down Arbutus. Or continue the expected UBC line.
          Highway 99 could also be looped over to the north side of YVR and on to Iona. It would be a challenge to have hundreds of ferry vehicles, including the trucks, all piling on to the Arthur Laing Bridge or SW Marine Drive. 99 to 91 would be less stressful to the Vancouver roads.

        3. With regard to Iona Island, YVR is planning a new runway which will go over the sewage outflow pipe, so that may negate a ferry terminal at that location. However, why do we need to build huge ferry terminals for floating parking lots (i.e car ferries)? Why not have a passenger ferry terminal at Bridgeport Station?
          Note that during the ’60s freeway madness, there was a proposal to build a freeway to UBC and to have the ferry terminal built there. Maybe Thomas should revive that plan. We could easily build the freeway just off shore and turn Vancouver into a real North American city!

        4. Because the ferries are there to connect all of the province to all of the island, not just the urban areas of Vancouver to Nanaimo/Victoria.
          You’d have to get overall buy in from all levels of government to restructure the service. As is, a ferry to connect an urban area to a predominantly rural or suburban one isn’t going to be well served by a passenger only service, since you need high quality connections on both ends.
          A park and ride on the island side could be a boon for islanders wanting to come to the city and YVR though. It wouldn’t help for hinterland destinations though.

        5. I’m not saying either or but both. If people want to take their car, then we have the existing service. For foot passengers, there could be a more frequent and more convenient service. There used to be private foot passenger ferries from downtown to both Victoria and Nanaimo. A few years ago, BCF was contemplating passenger only service for some runs. Park and ride would be great. How about car share as well? Why focus only on floating parking lots?

        6. Re: Extending rail to a salt water terminal.
          The Canada Line already terminates at Waterfront Station. A plethora of other transit services very conveniently converge there. A passenger ferry terminal would cost a fraction of a car ferry terminal because it has a fraction of the infrastructure, no matter what side of the Salish Sea they are on. The same applies to the boats. Commuter rail can easily be timed to the ferries, and rail would tap into the existing market of 8 million foot passengers a year on the two main routes, therein guaranteeing a pretty decent base ridership.
          It’s a simple matter of connecting the existing dots. You don’t need to create a higher level of quantum physics.

        7. The key to successful ridership on passenger ferries and commuter rail transit is to connect to urban centres, not the suburbs. Tsawwassen makes an exceedingly poor transit distribution point for arriving passengers. Waterfront Station radiates with very frequent transit service of all kinds.
          Downtown harbour to downtown harbour is the new way for the 21st Century.

    2. The E&N has always suffered from poor scheduling — going up Island in the morning and leaving Courtenay at lunchtime for the return trip. Sad to have seen it disappear in my lifetime. It’s one of the most scenic routes you can imagine. It literally passed by my elementary school playground (across the street) during the 70s and went from somewhat full to practically empty by the time I took my first trip on it in the early 80s.
      With no amenities to speak of enroute, and little enthusiasm on the part of VIA rail to market it to tourists, or reverse the runs and make it a viable transport option for up Island residents, it was doomed. The Island Corridor Foundation has been markedly unsuccessful in bringing rail back. Some commentators are far less charitable in their assessment of the foundation’s performance. The whole thing is a textbook example of lost opportunities.

      1. Well said. Why though, even for future COMMUTER service, was no rail provision put in on that brand new bridge in dtn Vic.? Portland Oregon does it, Montreal does it, Calgary even does it !! But not B.C.’s capital ???

        1. Not enough people on the island. Taiwan, the size of Vancouver Island, has 23M people. We have what, 4-500,000 ? Even the busy Calgary – Red Deer – Edmonton corridor rail project has been shelved, and while discussed on and off, is now off.
          Rail under/along Broadway to UBC it would make sense, going east from downtown, further south from Richmond or on/to the N-Shore as that is where BC’s people growth comes from. Leave Vancouver Island for retirees and nature lovers. Maybe on the Saanich Peninsula. Maybe.
          Where’s the Boundary Rd extension south connecting to Hwy 91 to relieve the aging Knight, Oak and undersized (even when upgraded, a mere 6 lanes) Patullo Bridges ?
          Where’s Uber as that would also cut down on road/bridge/tunnel traffic somewhat ? Where are bridge/tunnel tolls on all to distribute traffic flow and collect the cash for badly needed upgrades all over the place ? I bet if you asked most N-Shore commuters, for example, “Are you willing to pay a $2-5/crossing toll and have little to no traffic jams on the bridge” the majority would say yes.

      2. The E&N was a lost opportunity by dint of bad planning, Chris. Actually, there was NO planning where it counts — senior governments. Yet the potential is very good, even better than rail for the Fraser Valley.
        The existing corridor connects all the major towns and cities together south of Courtney, and that should be extending to Campbell River. The concept of a tourist train demonstrates a pathetic lack of insight and imagination on such a well-connected corridor. The land needs to stay intact until someone can do a half decent regional land use plan and cost-compare with the existing transportation system and project ahead to at least mid-century, only a generation away.
        Regarding population, it’s growing every year. Planning for transit-oriented growth is essential to sustainable urbanism. Also, there are 8 million foot passengers a year on the two major ferry runs, roughly 9 times greater than the Van Isle pop. Run the rails to the ferry terminals and you’ve got a captive base ridership to every town centre with a cost per rider well less than half of taking a car across.
        On operating costs, there will always be a recovery at the farebox, which you cannot say about the Island Highway which is 100% subsidized, no questions asked.

        1. The island highway is 100% subsidized ? It is THE vital backbone between Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell RIver for tourists, locals AND commerce. Probably paid for it self by increased PST, employment taxes, property taxes and land transfer taxes.
          Shall we also ban fossil fuel ferries, trucks or planes on green Vancouver Island ?
          This is not 18th century Europe, before the car, bus or truck was invented. Does rail make sense ANYWHERE except high population density areas or container shipments for long distance ?
          Where’s the e-bus (or hyrdrogen or natural gas) from Sydney ferry terminal to downtown Victoria ? That is probably a better and greener idea.

        2. Thomas, I think you missed the part about the E&N land already being there, though the rail infrastructure needs upgrading. No land acquisition required except where rerouting may be needed (e.g. Shawnigan Lake). This line carried passengers and freight for 140 years, and there is no reason it cannot do so again. All the politicos need to do is stop planning like it was still the 1950s.

        3. And, Thomas, you also missed the fact that farebox revenue offers partial recovery of operating costs. Unless, of course, you interpret that as an ‘alternative fact.’
          Maybe one could look at the economic benefits of moving people and freight by rail and compare its efficacy to a typical highway system. Be my guest.

  8. I guess if you’re gonna miss, you might as well miss by a mile.
    “Vancouver Island has a population of 759,366 according to the Canada 2011 Census.”
    “The Vancouver Island region received 3.8 million overnight person-visits in 2012 and generated $1.3 billion in related spending. Domestic overnight travellers accounted for 75% of visitation and 60% of related spending. International travellers accounted for 25% and 40%, respectively. On average, domestic travel parties in the Vancouver Island region stayed 3.2 nights and spent $123 per night during their trip. US travel parties stayed 4.1 nights and spent $220 per night during their trip, and Other international travel parties stayed 7.6 nights and spent $122 per night during their trip in the Vancouver Island region.
    Rail for tourism, commuting, and freight on Vancouver Island is very much something that would be good for the economy, environment, and tourism if properly handled.

    1. *comment deleted, please read editorial policy*
      Spread across many cities rail may make sense from Sydney Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria. Maybe. Or perhaps a $1/liter surcharge for gasoline to promote EVs. Plus a $50/trip fossil fuel levy per airplane or ferry passenger ? But then, I bet, even the very green locals would not like that except the very radical ones.

      1. I have no idea what you are talking about here. Sydney (sic) is close to downtown Victoria. There are no cities between the two. Could you translate it from Gibberish to something resembling plain English please.

        1. Gibberish ??
          Sydney is where the traffic comes in from airport and ferry terminal. That may warrant a rail line in a busy corridor, UNLIKE the far longer & less traffic distance to Nanaimo.

        2. You don’t actually know the traffic volumes for either route do you Thomas? This is another one of your ‘guesses’ that prove utterly wrong, such as we have already seen in this thread, where you misjudged the Vancouver Island population by more than a quarter of a million people.
          Do the math and show us your work.
          What is an average daily (24 hour) volume for the Pat Bay Hwy at Mackenzie Ave?
          What is an average daily (24 hour) volume for the inland Island Hwy at north of Nanaimo/south of Parksville?
          Stop spreading bad information please. Faulty numbers lead to erroneous conclusions.

        3. I drive around Chris. I have ears and eyes and can see gridlock or free flow. Who cares if V Island has 500,000 or 750,000 people when used in the context of comparing it to Taiwan for 25M plus .. 30-50 times as many. Take off your academic hat, please, and use common sense please, so badly missing in policy decisions these days.
          A railway to Parksville, huh, from Nanaimo .. real good idea …

        4. You don’t know the answers. Your conjecture on traffic volume is actually wrong. So much for common sense.
          We aren’t talking about Taiwan. Some of the intelligent commenters here were discussing the Vancouver Island rail situation, equipped with a modicum of understanding of the issues and potential. You butted in with a nonsense claim and derisive remarks. Run along please. We are trying to have a productive conversation. We have no need for stupid remarks intruding on a worthwhile dialogue.
          Here’s what an intelligent comment looks like. Take some notes.

        5. “However, it MAY make sense from Victoria to the north end of the Saanich Peninsula where the airport is and the ferry terminal to Vancouver.”
          What is the traffic volume? How does it compare to the Inland highway. You don’t know the answer to either question — and that’s why your comments are pointless and worthless. By your foolish comparison — if Taiwan is the level of population required for rail, how do you argue for rail transportation anywhere in the Lower Mainland?

        6. Seriously. Some people should calm down. The old E&N rail line used to terminate in a building on Store Street. Across the street was a ticket office. The line came in from the country though Langford and Esquimalt. Over the past recent years the main growth has been up the Saanitch Peninsula and on around the airport, Sidney and the ferry terminus, which leads to many destinations.
          The E&N railway lives on as a nostalgic piece of history, when coal was king on Vancouver Island.

        7. I invite you to consider the capacity of the ferries Eric. The biggest ones carry 300+ cars per trip and 1200 passengers max. Presuming a full load on every run, we still aren’t talking very big numbers. Don’t know about the airport, but the stats I found indicated roughly 20,000 car trips a day on the Pat Bay Hwy. The argument for rail on the peninsula seems lacking. It’s no Taiwan you know!! haha
          Now put your way-forward hat on instead of the history Homburg and envision how effective rail service could help North Island communities and major centres via bedroom communities, reduced traffic accidents, and economic activity up and down a pre-existing rail right-of-way in communities where people want to live, but can’t because of lack of employment. This is a forward-thinking, long-range approach to sustainable prosperity.

        8. Eric, FYI the old E&N used to terminate on Chatham near Government. The terminus beside the newly refurbished Janion Block was a fairly recent advent.
          It’s very sad when one cannot get the facts straight and doesn’t understand the concept of public infrastructure investment contributing to the economy before the demand is recognized. In the case of a new trans-Island rail service, I believe there is both a latent and obvious current demand that will lead to pretty decent ridership from the beginning if linked to the ferries, and that will only build up over time as the service improves and is extended to Campbell River.

        9. Chris;
          Your “forward-thinking, long-range approach to sustainable prosperity.” is a great idea, but how does it get funded when the communities up island lack resources, the south island looks after itself, and there is no overarching authority that can make this happen? Any ideas?

        10. Stopping the export of jobs through raw log exports would be a great first step. More wood is exported from the Island and the province unmilled than milled.

          Next, the advent of a decent commuter and freight rail service, if tied to new urban planning initiatives to increase transit access to residential and job centres (and build new development near transit), would stimulate the Island economy for a long time. Moreover, the development would naturally adhere to sustainable urbanism principles that use fewer resources and less energy.
          Then there are the private sector spin offs, like changes in land use where it counts: near cities and towns. Google Earth clearly indicates the clearcutting near eastern Island communities, and TimberWest et al may well be contemplating a sale with a zoning change from forestry to residential on their logged over sites, and a steep overnight increase in the land value. A controversial precedence was set in Jordan River a few years ago through a “special deal” with the BC Libs, but the CRD reacted with intelligence and stopped further zoning changes and set some rules. I don’t believe those rules apply outside of the CRD.
          Rather than accommodating sprawling subdivisions crawling up the mountainsides on the private forest lands, there could be incentives to build compact, walkable towns linked by rail to the existing towns and cities as well as the ferry terminals.
          The possibilities are enormous, too much to detail here.

        11. Alex, you say that facts should be straight. “In 1913, a new warehouse was constructed on the corner of Store Street and Pandora Avenue. This is the building which now houses Swans. In the old days it was a granary and feed store, bringing corn from the prairies to the farmers of Vancouver Island. The grain came in on a train which actually entered the building through the main entrance of Swans.”
          Perhaps it was just a spur but it certainly was a terminus. I suppose that 114 years ago was a fairly recent advent.

        12. @ Eric, I have a book that has a photo of an original plan clearly indicating the railyards that were built on Chatham about a half a lifetime before the Store St buildings. To build the structures on Store (and severing the RR) required buying out the Songhees and moving their Native village from the west side of the where the blue bridge is now to Esquimalt, thus making room for the railyards.
          To my knowledge that is the only payment made to any indigenous community displaced by the E&R and the 8,000 km2 of Native land that came with it in an extraordinarily generous grant to Robert Dunsmuir that extends to this day up past Campbell River, now in the form of private forest lands.

        13. Alex Botta
          Thanks for a thoughtful response.
          I don’t disagree with your ideas.
          How do you plan on changing the lumber export laws,
          developing secondary industries,
          new supply chains,
          opening new markets?

        14. Continuing on potential new sustainable communities on the Island, using land near Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Courtney that has been greatly degraded by several rotations of industrial logging, much of the larger parts quite recently (with violations in the Forest Practices Code around streams and on steep slopes, I have to add) offers opportunities to partner with First Nations, possibly with the regional districts though the federal infrastructure fund, to plan for a future where compact, transit-linked villages and towns replace the notion of subdivisions.
          Much less land would be required to house and employ a given number of people, but with comfortable densities with farmer’s fields, parks and forests separating the towns. It is possible to rehabilitate the land and return at least 2/3rds back to forest, but I would advocate for community forest trusts over private forestry companies in order to maintain sustainable, ecologically-based forest management in perpetuity. No more massive clearcutting.
          Probably 20% of the land cold be converted to new farmland after soil rehabilitation.
          This scenario would create tens of thousands of jobs over the decades while accommodating growth sustainably and self-sufficiently and fostering a modicum of justice for indigenous people.

        15. @ Jolson, if the BC government will not ban raw log exports (highly unlikely under the Libs who obey their donor’s every command, possibly unlikely under the NDP), then simply advocate for using new timber products at home to the point where more money is made domestically and sold internationally on value-added wood products than through raw log exports.
          Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is now making inroads in low and mid-rise buildings, which in effect replaces reinforced concrete construction. It’s probably a lot cheaper, and the buildings are erected a lot more quickly. Their GHG emissions and energy costs are a lot lower too, and there will always be a supply of plantation wood so what’s left of the old growth forests can be retained and protected.
          See also the above comments on new transit-linked towns and an expanded agricultural sector.

        16. Alex; according to the Victoria Heritage Foundation:
          – Aug 20 – Robert Dunsmuir signs with Federal Government to build Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway (E&N) for subsidy of $750,000, & land grant of 2,000,000 acres (1/5 Vancouver Island), including all coal under & all timber on top.
          – 76 cm snow covers City.
          – March 29 – E&N first train, Nanaimo to Victoria.
          – First railway bridge built across harbour to Store St.
          – Survey begun for Victoria to Sidney railway (V&S).”
          Tell us more about this Chatham yard. We know the Janion, across from Swans (1913) was built in 1891, it’s imbedded in the facade. You say half a lifetime. That would have to be around 1850. Was there someone with a rail before Dunsmuir?

        17. Perhaps the Albion Iron Works, 1862. Bought out by a consortium including Dunsmuir in 1882. Precursor to Victoria Machinery Depot. They were reportedly building railcars in 1872.

        1. A passenger ferry from Vancouver airport would take about an hour to Chemanus or Ladysmith. Less than 3 hours downtown to downtown including Canada line to YVR & streetcar over E & N ROW

        2. It makes better sense to link existing population and job centres by sea and rail, especially when both are readily accessed by passengers at the Waterfront Station.
          Getting from VVR to where ever in the Metro by transit would, in my opinion, be only marginally better than the hopelessly pathetic transit links from the Tsawwassen terminal. The population base is centred on the Burrard Peninsula, and is already fairly well connected by rapid transit, though it does need improvement.
          Unless you’re talking about moving more cars in those containerized floating traffic jams, in which case, what’s the point?

    2. Amen to that.
      There is still a movement to establish commuter rail between Victoria and the Western Communities, if rather anemic (stops in Vic West). I think the Colwood Crawl has a lot to do with that. It seems like a no brainer when land acquisition costs are not on the balance sheet, and the rail corridor is already in place.

      1. Alex; Waterfont station ferry terminal is more convenient than YVR for most people including myself. but it would increase ferry time & cost. About 20 years ago there was a ferry from waterfront to Victoria operated by an affiliate of Harbor ferries ( now Harbor Cruises.) It lasted about a year

    3. Chris, thank you for that link to the Times Colonist op-ed. That was one of the most articulate and cogent pieces on Island rail I’ve read, and I’ve been paying attention for a decade now. I agree with every single point the author made. I have illustrated essays planned on this topic (focus on land planning) and will share them in future, and pieces like that indicate I’m on the right track, so to speak.

  9. @jolson
    “Any ideas?”
    My understanding is that funding to get things started was largely in place, but the project stalled. I would point out that finding funding for this idea may be more one of reallocation away from the current mono-mania for pavement, rather than a need to generate additional monies.
    That said… what would I do? My facile response might be to suggest we (as a nation) buy two less new fighter planes that are really of no use to us and thereby have hundreds of millions available for more peaceful pursuits.
    My other suggestion might be to legalize and tax marijuana, with the proceeds going to projects like an Island rail corridor. However, that would require the current federal gov’t to share the label of ‘Promise Keepers’ with a subset of evangelical Christian men, clearly something they are loathe to do based on recent events. So it goes.

  10. Jumping down here to resolve the indent issue from above.
    Eric posted: “Metro has clearly been a close partner to all the development and the plans because Tsawwassen is a member of Metro”
    Still waiting for something to substantiate this, Eric. You were asked whether Metro (the organization) endorsed the TFN developments. You said they must have, because two board members were in a photo together, if I understand your reasoning.
    No, a close partner does not refer to a relationship between two board members.
    We are looking for organizational alignment, not personal friendships.
    Maybe this will help you out a bit. Apologies if you know all this, but if so, you could have helped yourself earlier.
    Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future, is the regional growth strategy. Metro (the organization) reports on progress towards common goals. It has performance measures. That would be one way to understand the degrees of alignment between various local government plans, and the overall regional growth strategy. There are five goals in the strategy.
    1. Create a Compact Urban Area
    2. Support a Sustainable Economy
    3. Protect the Environment and Respond to Climate Change Impacts
    4. Develop Complete Communities
    5. Support Sustainable Transportation Choices
    Each of us can apply our own judgement as we think about how the development under discussion supports those goals. Check its location against the defined urban centres, and objectives around development near frequent transit, as one example. Ask whether promoting destination shopping fits those goals.
    From Metro: “Local and regional alignment is achieved in two ways: through the acceptance and adoption of Regional Context Statements, which link Metro 2040 to official community plans; and through Metro 2040 amendments.”
    All of the regional context statements (RCS) are available on line. They get drafted by each local government, presented to Metro, and voted on for acceptance. Details get worked out, sometimes there are edits. Pretty standard stuff. When Metro doesn’t accept a RCS, you get a situation as with Langley Township. There is a reference to a dispute resolution process being underway in that case. Not sure of the outcome, but that answers Arno’s question about whether there is a veto. In any case, RCS documents presented, accepted, and complied with would be a good demonstration of a “close partnership”.
    Now, check and see what the status is of the RCS document in the jurisdiction of the development under discussion. As of the most recent annual report, Tsawwassen had not submitted a RCS. They didn’t need to, since the treaty negotiation specified that their land use plan was deemed to be sufficient. If they change their land use plan, they will submit a RCS. Metro has not reviewed their RCS, since there isn’t one. Metro can’t endorse it, because there is nothing to endorse. The claim that they are all close partners working together will hopefully be true in future. But to claim that because Tsawwassen has a seat on the board (a good thing), that board members aren’t arguing with each other (another good thing), and that we can therefore assume that all the work is being done in the background (what work?), collectively substantiates alignment, or a “close partnership” between the Regional Growth Strategy and the developments done by a local government, when that government hasn’t submitted the RCS yet, is absurd. But perhaps you can provide documentation of how, despite having no RCS, Metro reviewed the plans for this development, and said “this is a great thing, aligned with our RGS” or words to that effect. That is what I asked you for, because I haven’t seen it. Perhaps you have. Given your claim, one would assume you had. Hopefully this will help you, Eric, with your belief that the developments are fully endorsed by Metro.
    A good summary of all this is the Metro Vancouver Shaping Our Future 2015 Annual Report, here:

    1. When we see Metro Vancouver board chair Greg Moore joining TFN Chief Bryce Williams and other politicians to announce millions of dollars, including $4.6 million from Metro Vancouver (the Greater Vancouver Water District) for expansion of the water supply. “Noting the TFN is the first First Nation in the province to be a member of a regional district, Moore said the economic growth of the TFN simply couldn’t happen without a fresh water supply. ”
      The Water Board committee is:
      Mussatto, Darrell (C) – North Vancouver City
      Jordan, Colleen (VC) – Burnaby
      Becker, John – Pitt Meadows
      Clay, Mike – Port Moody
      Fox, Charlie – Langley Township
      Gambioli, Nora – West Vancouver
      Hicks, Robin – North Vancouver District
      Johnstone, Patrick – New Westminster
      McDonald, Bruce – Delta
      Speirs, Craig – Maple Ridge
      Stevenson, Tim – Vancouver
      Steves, Harold – Richmond
      Woods, Dave – Surrey
      “Metro Vancouver – Utilities Committee Terms of Reference
      Committee Responsibilities
       Review and approve annual business plans and budgets for the Water and Liquid Waste utilities”
      Does anyone think that a grant of $4.6 million from this Metro Committee was made after following the terms of reference and the due diligence to any group other than a close partner?
      Another close partner is TransLink.
      The TransLink buzzer blog:
      “Get your shopping shoes on! Hop on the 609 to the new Tsawwassen Mills mall.
      Want to check out the new outlet mall in Tsawwassen? We’ve made changes to the 609 to get you there!
      Starting Monday, October 3, the 609 Tsawwassen First Nation/South Delta Exchange will now reroute via Canoe Pass Way, Salish Sea Drive, and continue on Highway 17 to Tsawwassen Drive to provide direct access to Tsawwassen Mills.”
      Some people suggest that Metro and the TFN are not working together as close partners.This seems counter productive and one has to suspect their motives.
      As the Tsawwassen First Nation states:
      “Our Future
      On April 3, 2009, the Tsawwassen People ratified the first urban First Nations Treaty in B.C. It was the culmination of 14 years of negotiations. It reconciled our aboriginal rights and title and restored our right to First Nation self-government, protected in the Canadian Constitution. The Treaty provides us with municipal, provincial and federal types of jurisdiction over a land base of 724 hectares. So far, we have 23 laws that replace the Indian Act on Tsawwassen Lands and in our traditional territory. Tsawwassen First Nation also became a full member of the Metro Vancouver regional district, now Metro Vancouver, the first First Nation to do so.
      For the Tsawwassen People, the Treaty has given us a cause for much hope, optimism and comfort – to know that we once again control our destiny. We are now going through a period of revival and renewal as we plan our future and seek opportunities to sustain our growth physically, economically and culturally, for present and future generations.”
      Perhaps, rather than trying to find disagreement with their developments we should wish them well and encourage them.

      1. Eric – Are they any closer a partner than any of the other municipalities and electoral districts that comprise Metro Vancouver? I would guess the opposite, since they were forced to build their own sewage treatment system (currently the best in Canada) since Delta refused to cooperate with them. Why should it be a special favour to provide water as they do for the rest of us? Why should offering trransit service be any more of a special treatment than their offering transit service for the rest of us?

      2. You originally claimed that Metro was a close partner to the plans. We were talking about cooperative regional planning. I asked whether Metro had endorsed those plans, ie reviewed them in the context of the regional growth strategy.
        You went off on everything except the plans. You are shifting here to talk about partners in photo ops, bus routes, and everything except whether the development plan in question is aligned with the regional growth strategy.
        It is quite possible to wish the TFN well, support self governance, and all the rest, without agreeing that this particular development is aligned with the RGS. You have failed to show any such alignment, or explicit endorsement of the plan by Metro.

      3. Arno, If you think that providing water or transit service is a special favour, then you are probably the only one.
        I expect the TFN is much a partner as any other; as I have repeatedly stated. The TFN is a full partner in Metro Vancouver and their representatives are on many boards/committees.

      4. Arno suggested they are not a special partner, and it wasn’t a favour. You have it backwards. Obfuscation.
        I expect you have no evidence of alignment of the development plans (endorsement, if you like), and so you will keep trying to divert and deflect. We know they have people on many committees. That is great, but irrelevant. It isn’t about the people, rather the plans.
        You are really flailing here.

        1. Arno actually asked if they were a closer partner. If you read it closely. Which, of course, I never ever suggested, so I reminded him of that.
          Now you are persisting in changing the issue, that seems to be your obsession, and demanding confirmation of plans.
          As repeatedly said, the TFN are full Metro members. If you have any knowledge that developments on their land is not aligned with any other plans then the onus is on you to express your opinion. I can’t speak for you.
          What evidence are you holding back that the TFN and their plans and developments are not endorsed by Metro?

        2. “What evidence are you holding back that the TFN and their plans are not endorsed by Metro”
          None. You were the one asked the question, I never asserted it was true. But there is this. You already allowed as they likely weren’t, when you posted:
          “You probably won’t either find Metro documents confirming their acceptance….”
          You admitted this many posts ago. You know there is no Regional Context Statement, so nothing to approve. No acceptance of the plans. It makes a mockery of your claim that Metro is a close partner to the plans. We don’t know why you persist, but this was settled many posts ago.
          Since then we’ve just been watching you spin.

  11. I never asked that question, it was you that asked. You too brought up the idea of Context Statements. What really is difficult to accept is your denigration of the people.
    “We know they have people on many committees. That is great, but irrelevant. It isn’t about the people, rather the plans. …”
    Now you’re becoming personal with your frustrations. Lashing out at the Tsawwassen people and at me. I can speak for myself but they are not here to speak for themselves. Your repeated fixation on the plans, the plans of Metro, has become distasteful and unseemly when you drag the the First Nations people into your ranting. It’s objectionable. It’s sad that you can’t see it.
    This is going nowhere. You obviously have some visceral issue with what one of the members of the board of Metro Vancouver is doing but you can’t express it, so you keep twisting my comments and asking me irrelevant questions.
    The Tsawwassen First Nation is a full member of Metro Vancouver, just as are any of the other members including Delta, Richmond, Vancouver, and etc. They are beneficiaries of infrastructure funding that is also dispensed to other members by all levels of government. They are developing their lands with retail, commercial and residential projects, as well as possibly other ventures. Every level of government welcomes, funds where necessary and embraces this and you are just going to have to move into the 21st century and accept it, whether it fit into a plan you’ve read, or not.

    1. If you read more closely, you will see that I posted that you were asked that question, there isn’t any confusion.
      I am not denigrating any people. I am not frustrated, I don’t know why you say that. Is it a projection? Why would I have a problem with what any individual board member is doing? You keep bring up the board members, instead of discussing the Metro organization. Do you have some connection to the board?
      Your claim was that Metro was a close partner to the plans. I find that an interesting assertion. Plans was your word, not my “fixation.” I simply challenged your assertion, and asked additionally whether Metro had endorsed those plans. Whether they were in fact “a close partner” to those plans.
      How does Metro work in partnership with local governments? Via Regional Context Statements. “The regional context statement (RCS) is the document that shows the relationship between Metro 2040 and each municipality’s official community plan (OCP), or, for specific jurisdictions, another local land use plan. A RCS identifies the relationship between an OCP and Metro 2040. The RCS must be accepted by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) Board and adopted through a municipal OCP amendment bylaw.”
      So, if Metro is working in close partnership with Tsawwassen, and the plans for this particular development, then the vehicle that is done through is the RCS. Sitting on boards is great, as are photo ops. But the interest here is in the detailed planning work. As you said above, “The real work is done in the studies and documents and those big plans that are far too long to reproduce here…”
      So let’s look it up. From the 2015 Annual Report, linked above.
      You will see that nearly all lines are complete. RCS documents submitted, approved. One could say that Metro is a close partner to the plans, once the RCS is accepted by the board. Lions Bay has been submitted since, and UEL isn’t required to submit one, under the Local Government Act. Langley Township’s wasn’t accepted, and is going through a resolution process. So, there is just one outstanding, Tsawwassen. They will do one when they change their land use, no worries. They are not in any way in default, they are new here. This is not an attack on Tsawwassen.
      But the fact remains, that until they submit a RCS, and it is accepted, then they aren’t actually working as a close partner for any specific developments within their jurisdiction. Unless you have some documents showing that they are, through a parallel process of some sort, which is what you were asked. It was asked in good faith, because perhaps you knew of a secondary process that tied these developments to Metro’s work.
      It doesn’t appear that you have any backing for your assertion, and that you are becoming increasingly uncomfortable about that being pointed out. You could just have said “I made that up” and left it at that.
      “Until you can come up with something different I maintain my belief that the developments are completely endorsed by Metro Vancouver and the Metro Board.”
      Doubling down. Might want to rethink that. If not, you can believe whatever you want. This wasn’t to try and convince you, but simply to point out your nature. So you will understand when we don’t buy into your unsubstantiated assertions.

  12. Maybe if UEL isn’t required to submit a RCS then the First Nation isn’t either.
    You say that because a RSC hasn’t been submitted by the new member, the TFN, this means they aren’t working together as a full member. Ergo, you obviously think that the UEL, I guess that’s the UBC Properties Trust (and all the Wesbrook developments, etc.) is also not really a full member of Metro.
    I believe that anyone that suggests to the TFN that they aren’t really a full or a close partner in Metro is going backwards and has not been paying attention to the major steps forward the province, Metro and the TFN has made to bring their people into full partnership in our society, both socially and economically.
    The plans for Tsawwassen have been well known for a few years. Metro Vancouver (GVRD) gave $4.6 million for upgrading the water supply. Does anyone seriously think this was given to anyone but a full partner? Does anyone think that Metro dolled out these millions without knowing, or accepting and fully understanding what the TFN was undertaking in developments? Clearly, the answer is no.

    1. “Maybe if UEL isn’t required to submit a RCS then the First Nation isn’t either.”
      If you had read the link to the Annual Report, you would know the answer to that and wouldn’t have to guess at it.
      I never said anyone wasn’t a full member of Metro, you did. I said that it is hard to be a partner to the plans, or endorse them, if the plans haven’t been submitted or voted on. I am talking about plans. You keep trying to bring it back to whether they are working as partners on other matters beyond the plans (which you appear to agree haven’t been submitted or voted on). See the difference?

      1. Now you’re rambling. When you have specific evidence that what the TFN has been developing is not condoned by Metro Vancouver then please present it.
        Your interpretation of whether anything conforms to future and projected Metro Plans does not mean that Metro is in any way unhappy with what’s being done.
        My contention is that Metro has been fully aware of what a full member of Metro has been doing and there is absolutely nothing that demonstrates in any way whatsoever that this is not the case.
        Present something to refute this, otherwise what you are suggesting is just semantics based on your interpretation of Metro wish lists.

      2. I’ll consider the need to present something to refute this after you present something to support it. Or just thank you for your post. That would be fine too.
        You have failed to present any evidence for your claim. Your claim, your burden of proof. That is the way it usually works 😉
        We are sure you have such evidence near to hand, as you are so sure of your claim. So just post the review of the development plans, and Metro’s vote to accept them, as an example. And remember that awareness isn’t endorsement. Something measuring alignment to the Regional Growth Strategy would also be good.

  13. As before, “Metro has clearly been a close partner to all the development and the plans because Tsawwassen is a member of Metro.”
    Perhaps the TFN do not put as much energy as Metro Vancouver does into myriad elaborate Plans and Studies and Wish Lists. Clearly the entire development in Tsawwassen that has recently come about was not on the radar of fairly recent, expensive Metro studies and plans and they all have to now be revised.
    Until we read differently our opinion is still that the TFN is a close partner in Metro and what they are doing is fully supported.

  14. I am sure they will be a close partner to Metro in the future. It is the basis of Metro, working collaboratively.
    But as to the developments under discussion, and their alignment with the recent Regional Growth Strategy and associated plans, let’s use your conclusion:
    “Clearly the entire development in Tsawwassen that has recently come about was not on the radar of fairly recent, expensive Metro studies….”
    Exactly. That was the point all along. If they were both partner to the plans, the developer would build according to the plans. They wouldn’t build and then have to jointly change the plans to match the development, post construction.
    Thank you for that.

    1. So which is it?
      Are they “close partners to all the plans” as you wrote many times in this thread, working collaboratively with a common vision for the region, as expressed in the Regional Growth Strategy?
      Or is it that “Those plans are just wish lists, with absolutely no sanctions”
      Having trouble deciding? Hard to believe it could be both at the same time.
      Above, you posted: “Seriously. Some people should calm down.” Indeed.
      Your strategy is pretty transparent. You praise Metro for a decision they didn’t make but which you support, and then deride them in your next post when your error is clearly illuminated. And I use the word “error” charitably.
      Langley Township and Metro appear to have been working it out as partners. The Township just approved a revised Regional Context Statement, and is resubmitting it to Metro for approval.

      1. Do you want me to forward a complaint to the TFN for not providing Metro with a glorified Plan? Is that it?
        Do you want me to ask Metro why they gave out nearly $5 million to the TFN when they don’t seem to be presenting any plans?
        The TFN have a plan on their web site. Are you impatient because it hasn’t been updated? Maybe it’s still being revised and is at the printers. Maybe they have some new tenants for the commercial development and the plan is on hold while contracts are ironed out.
        I’ve tried to help you. You seem to have questions that you should be seeking answers to yourself. Do you know what an FOI is?

      2. 1). Of course not. They don’t need to provide a plan yet, which you should know. In due course they will present one, as they update their own plans.
        2) No, I don’t want you to ask Metro why they are providing services, which is what they do.
        3) I’ve read the plans, thanks.
        4) Is that what you call helping?
        All I asked when you claimed that Metro was partner to all the plans, is whether the plans were endorsed. IOW, reviewed, aligned, checked for consistency with the Regional Growth Strategy, which TFN is partner to, and then approved. But you couldn’t help me because your claim was unsupported, and not consistent with demonstrated facts. Oh well. Que sera.
        Too bad about your credibility.

        1. I really don’t have the time to go through hours of reading of Metro documents to find what you are looking for. If it’s even there.
          With all your connections you must know someone at Metro that can help you find out.
          Do you like the plans that you’ve read? What’s your sense of where they are heading?

      3. BTW, it isn’t about the TFN, in case you weren’t clear.
        You skipped over the Langley Township point and your characterization of RCS documents as wish lists with no sanctions.
        If we send you an FOI can we find out what your interests and motivations are? Who is the man in the high castle?

        1. My interests are for a healthy, tolerant and peaceful society with creative endeavours available and pursued by all that wish them and lots of good music and dancing.

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