Everything old is new again as the former city manager of the City of Delta vies for the Mayoral seat being vacated by Lois Jackson. And as part of the switcheroo, Mayor Lois Jackson who is stepping down from office after decades has breezily announced she is running for Council. The platform coming out looks suspiciously like the former Liberal provincial government’s, supporting big business, all things port related, and of course promoting the overbuilt ten lane Massey Bridge which has prudently been put in abeyance by the current NDP provincial government.
At the Metro and Provincial level there were earlier hopes that George Harvie might be a bit more conciliatory and actually work with the rest of the Metro Vancouver region in evaluating the best options for the renewal of the Massey Tunnel crossing of the Fraser River. But no, Harvie is behind the wheel in a 20th century vision of the single occupant vehicle. He wants the Liberals’ previously proposed overbuilt ten lane multi billion dollar bridge replacing the Massey Tunnel despite the fact the rest of the Metro Mayors’ Council nixed that.
“How much longer will Delta residents have to endure an unsafe and unhealthy daily commute? Every single day I hear this issue on the doorsteps – families are frustrated by the province’s lack of action on a new crossing, and from being late for dance class or sports practice, to missing important appointments, it’s affecting their quality of life.”
This is exactly the rhetoric Mayor Jackson and double dipping Liberal MLA/Delta Councillor Ian Paton espoused. Mayor Jackson also went on a $40,000 taxpayer funded junket to Ottawa with staff to plead for the bridge no other metro mayor wanted.
In continuing to press for an overbuilt bridge there is no leadership and no fulsome discussion of other 21st century options such as how to dramatically increase transit usage, introduce and promote car share or (gasp) suggest that the Port operate 24 hours a day like every other port in North America, and keep associated trucking out of the tunnel during peak rush hour.
Harvie brings out the familiar “worst highway bottleneck” complaints, saying that “millions of dollars” have been lost due to congestion, and shockingly suggests that ” A bridge is also our best choice in protecting Delta’s Agricultural Land Reserve”. Seriously.
“Doing nothing is not an option. That’s why as mayor, one of my top priorities will be getting to the table with the federal and provincial governments and a newly-elected Mayor’s Council to push for the replacement of the aging George Massey Tunnel.”
“I have a proven record in working across government lines to deliver for the people of Delta, and I’m prepared to do what it takes to move this project forward. On this one-year anniversary of the tunnel replacement cancellation, I’m asking for your support in securing a new George Massey Bridge. Delta residents deserve no less.”
You can read the the rest of Harvie’s comments here.
Image Sandy James