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Back to Delta, and the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department.

Mayor Lois Jackson and staff are in Ottawa and Quebec City on a $40,000, seven-day junket approved by council. In Ottawa, they’re drumming up support for the “stalled” $3.5 billion, ten-lane Massey Bridge, which is currently undergoing independent evaluation by the province.

It’s surprising that Delta taxpayers are not more upset about paying for this $40,000 trip. The City of Delta is the only one of the 21 member municipalities in Metro Vancouver that wanted this bridge behemoth in this location. It’s a version of the one-trick pony — insisting on that one thing you need, even when the rest of the region says “not here and not now”.

Challenges to this campaign for a multi-billion dollar, ten-lane bridge continue to mount.

Back in Delta, a letter in the Delta Optimist from former columnist Ian Robertson delves into a freedom of information request he filed with the premier’s office under the previous, Liberal government.

Seeking more documentation related to the decision, he was surprised to find…there was no documentation. Furthermore, he was told by project managers that the Massey Bridge decision was a “high level” consultation, and “no notes were taken“.

As Mr. Robertson observes, despite the fact experts from Europe were previously contacted about the tunnel design, “it appears the government did not seriously consider them, or other options, before rushing in with a bridge — modelled after what is already up the river.” 

Of course “up the river” refers to the Alex Fraser and the Port Mann bridges.

In conclusion, Mr. Robertson asks: “So now our mayor is in Ottawa promoting the bridge. On what basis? It was not the logical choice at the beginning (no serious consideration of alternatives) and it might be an expensive boondoggle. Who knows when experts for the other choices have not been consulted?”

A flawed process under the previous Liberal provincial government needs to be prudently rethought so that all Massey crossing alternatives are carefully considered.