The game of “Whack a Mole” got a little more complex in Delta where the Corporation decided to take out a whole page ad in the front section of the Vancouver Sun to get across their various points. Delta is insisting that no matter what the rest of Metro Vancouver or the Mayor’s Council says, Delta needs their ten lane overbuilt multi-billion dollar bridge to serve their 100,000 population, and the region better get on board.
With the underwhelming and sufficiently slanted title of “Politics and Misinformation Must Not Stop Bridge Construction” Delta offers “the facts” on the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project. With no footnotes to direct references, we are told “Twinning the Tunnel is NOT AN OPTION!” “THE EXISTING TUNNEL CANNOT BE SUFFICIENTLY UPGRADED!” And my personal favourite “A REPLACEMENT TUNNEL IS MORE EXPENSIVE!”. Delta suggests that a replacement tunnel would be $4.3 billion dollars versus $3.5 billion dollars for that ten lane bridge. Imagine-in Delta’s estimates, we are only looking at financial costs, not the ecological savings of developing a tunnel with a more sound ecological footprint that does not suck up hectares of the most arable lane in Canada.
There is more hype in the rest of the ad with no direct referencing but you get the point. There are eleven factoids and Delta is letting us know “Public safety is at risk and the solution is known-the new bridge is necessary, supported by facts and vital for the economy of the region and the province”.
There’s a website you are encouraged to go to for vital information on this bridge-www.WeNeedaBridge.ca which surprise surprise, just goes straight to the Corporation of Delta’s website.
One of the Province’s most trusted urbanists told me that he had reviewed the statistics for Delta and realized that they had a very heavy reliance on industrialization and the Port. That comes out in the “oops” statistic where Delta tells us that “twelve per cent of the traffic moving through the tunnel are trucks”, and that is “MORE THAN 3X HIGHER THAN OTHER BRIDGES IN THE REGION”. This is not about accessibility for the region-this is for the Corporation of Delta to continue industrializing the Fraser River and expanding truck shipping from Deltaport.
But Delta has answered all the questions to their satisfaction, with their taxpayers footing the bill for their front newspaper section largesse. Let’s hope that non-biased crossing review is coming soon, and doesn’t require full-page newspaper ads.