Gord Price:
An analysis of the regional economy has just about been completed by UBC profs Tom Hutton and Trevor Barnes for Metro Vancouver.  Here’s what they say in the third paragraph:
In addition to the foundational features of Metro Vancouver’s economy of Port Metro Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), these are the cornerstones of Metro Vancouver’s economy:

  • Higher education and related advanced research activity,
  • the health and medical complex,
  • finance and business services,
  • property development 

Then there are clusters of specialized industries and labour:

  • film and video production,
  • telecommunications,
  • social media,
  • green industry technologies,
  • aerospace,
  • high-value food and beverage production 

My observation:
With the exceptions of aerospace and perhaps major telecommunications centres, literally every one of these businesses, industries and clusters can be found along the Broadway corridor from Boundary Road to UBC – including the proposed route of the next rapid-transit line. This is where the high-value jobs of the present and the future can be found.
If there was a single infrastructure project that would support and accelerate these economic generators, it would be the transit line to serve, connect and extend this corridor. That would be the project any provincial government would be be 100 percent behind if its platform was based on promoting a healthy economy and providing jobs.  That would be the first project to promote rather than, for instance, a 10-lane bridge to land below sea level, much less the extension of a highway into a hinterland with almost no job base, to serve a population less than the West End.
And yet, would anyone say that the Broadway rapid-transit line is a high priority for the provincial Liberals, a must-get-done commitment of a Government of Yes?
And the question then is: why not?


  1. Back when it was revealed that more than half of the US Congress had never held a passport I suddenly realized that a lot of people simply don’t travel much. That must hold true for BCs senior bureaucrats and politicians because if they had been to Paris and Tokyo and New York and Shanghai, it would be hard to imagine them coming back and saying “Right then, better roads are the best solution to our urban transportation problems.” But if their big trips are from Victoria to the cabin in the Okanagan, I can imagine them thinking that way. If the answer to the question “what can we learn from the great cities of the world?” is “I don’t really want to go there”, maybe we’ve got the wrong people answering the question.

  2. A very succinct commentary, Gord.
    Rapid transit on Broadway is a no brainer from just about every perspective, not the least economic. Yet here we are closing in on a half century of freeway killing arguing about mode, promoting hopelessly inadequate alternate routes, and casually dismissing Broadway’s deep relevance to the Metro while the province diddles away gobs of public money on projects that have nothing to do with creating a healthy future.

  3. I was impressed with John Horgan (current leader of the NDP, the official opposition), when he recently promised to widen and improve the present highway between Kamloops and Alberta. From the way he said it, it sounds like a long way.

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