1008 col smyth.jpgThe Province Images
In the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department, double salary dipping Provincial MLA Ian Paton thought he had a very good idea. A newly minted Liberal MLA and also  happily continuing the strange conflict of interest of being on Delta City Council,  Mr. Paton still is representing Delta’s one hand clapping for the new Massey Bridge. Instead of productively working with the new Provincial government which is overseeing an evaluation of the Massey crossing options, Mr. Paton had the time to go the Massey Tunnel and hammer in some political billboards. Seriously.
Instead of those billboards saying something constructive, those billboards contain  one-sided tired 20th century political rhetoric. Those billboards don’t say that a multi-billion dollar overbuilt bridge on the sensitive Fraser River delta is being re-evaluated, that the lack of public process and the lack of buy-in of the Mayor’s Council on the size and the location was a concern. Oh no. They embarrassingly tell drivers that they are stuck in traffic because of the current government.  The signs are also placed on property not surprisingly owned by Ron Toigo of White Spot fame, who of course would greatly benefit if his farmland was rezoned industrial due to the location of a ten lane bridge. It’s all so transparent.
As Mike Smyth in The Province observes Andrew Weaver of the Green Party notes  what many others are thinking of these billboards: “It’s hilarious. I’ve had dozens of people contacting me to say, ‘Thank you for stopping the reckless path of an unreviewed bridge that was promised out of nowhere by the Liberals.’”
It’s really time to stop thinking of the Massey crossing as a political boondoggle and evaluate it for what it truly is. No one is disputing the need for better, more efficient access across the Fraser River. Bullying tactics don’t work~and future generations living in Metro Vancouver may inherit a prudent crossing that is respectful to the existing Agricultural Land Reserve and sensitive delta conditions, or a ten lane crossing that will speed up  the industrialization of the banks of the Fraser River. It’s our choice and we need to take the time to make the right decision for future generations.
 
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Comments

  1. The bridge was cancelled by the GreeNDP coalition, was it not? As such it is very accurate.
    Are there better options? Probably. But they will take years to be designed and consulted, then built. So tunnel users lost at least 4-5 years in delays.

    1. Actually tunnel users have already lost more than 4-5 years in delays under the liberals. Gordon Campbell and Kevin Falcon approved the construction of an added tube to the tunnel in 2006 and finalized plans in 2008. . If Christy Clark hadn’t listened to the Port Vancouver demands to industrialize the Fraser in 2012 the tunnel would have been built by now.

  2. If the Libs already committed the money, then it could be appropriated for better uses where the population actually resides.
    Some suggestions:
    – take the Broadway subway all the way to UBC in one contract ($1B from Arbutus)
    – build a third LRT line in Surrey ($1B) and start the planning process for light rail throughout the outer region with the goal of urbanizing the suburbs
    – rebuild the Pattullo Bridge ($1.5B)
    Any additional funds previously designated for contingencies (the Massey would never have come in less than $4B) could go toward homes for the homeless, 200 km of separated bike commuter roads, an extra payment on the BC debt, and so forth.
    Upgrading the existing tunnel and adding decent highway bus service with strictly-enforced bus-only queue jumper lanes could come from general revenue.

    1. Great ideas Alex.
      Although a majority of Vancouver residents and an overwhelming majority of South of the Fraser residents wanted the bridge, they will be very happy to vote for the government and the parties that decide to spend the money elsewhere.

      1. Yet 20 of 21 elected mayors rejected it. I wonder how they came to that conclusion? Tea leaf reading?
        If you are referring to a poll, then you need to cite the question, the methodology and ID the organization that commissioned it. I seem to recall that poll was roundly debunked here on PT a few months ago.
        FYI, the majority of Canadians still supported the death penalty decades after it was abolished and even when several wrongly convicted individuals were exonerated and offered millions for their hardship. This helps us understand why government by referenda or polls is a terrible idea.

      2. I don’t have the accurate info at my fingertips, but further to the notion that major transport assets need to be built where the majority of population and jobs are, UBC has more people on campus during the day than the population of Tsawwassen, White Rock and Ladner combined. Add South Surrey and the supposedly “huge” job centre at Roberts Bank and you are still less than the population and jobs of West Kits and Point Grey, which is minutes from the Metro’s second largest urban economy — Central Broadway.
        The Libs megaproject economics are pretty scary for a self-described party trait of fiscal prudence.

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