Everything old is new again in the City of Delta, where the 1950’s transportation infrastructure policy of ex Mayor Lois Jackson is being bolstered by her former Chief Administrative Officer George Harvie who was voted in as Mayor. Making a corporate tag team, 80 year old Lois Jackson is back as a councillor to support her former city manager.
No surprise that many voters in Ladner and Tsawwassen familiar with the City’s dismissive public processes and lack of attention to local residential matters moved their Mayoral vote elsewhere. However Harvie appealed to the voters in north Delta that responded to his call to get building the overpriced and not funded Massey Bridge and won the election.
Here we go again with George Harvie, who originally said he was interested in alternatives to the proposed multi billion dollar bridge, but tightened his rhetoric to reflect the past Provincial Liberal dogma of a big ten lane bridge regardless of the environmental or economic costs.
Harvie is bolstered in his “nothing but the bridge” mantra by Liberal MLA Ian Paton who double dipped as a Delta city councillor after his election to Provincial office, and Lois Jackson, who is staying on as a city councillor to assist with the big industry and big bridge agenda, calling herself an “elder”. As Mayor Ms. Jackson participated in a $40,000 taxpayer-funded junket to Ottawa and to Quebec this summer to press Ottawa for the Massey Bridge. It is not known if she mentioned the fact that all the other Mayors of Metro Vancouver voted against the Massey Bridge, and that there is no funding to build it.
Price Tags has been reporting on the full agenda that the Mayors Council of Metro Vancouver will face with the City of Surrey mayor hoping to ditch the approved LRT line in favour of the more expensive SkyTrain, despite the funding and approvals already in place. And there is one more thing that the Mayors’ Council will be looking at, and that is Delta’s continual call for their very own overbuilt bridge in the wrong location for the region. Recognizing that this is going to be a hard sell and a controversial item, the Province has reiterated its position to the Delta Optimist stating :
“We’ve heard the concerns around costs and impacts about building a 10-lane bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel, both from mayors and people in Metro Vancouver. That’s why government retained Stan Cowdell to lead an independent technical review of the options available for the corridor, to make sure that any future direction on the crossing works for people in the region. The ministry is thoroughly reviewing Mr. Cowdell’s report and possible next steps. The minister of transportation and infrastructure will be discussing its findings with Metro mayors in the coming weeks before making the independent review – and government’s next steps — public later this fall.”
Will the Massey Bridge in all of its multi-billion dollar ten lane splendour trump over rapid transit in Surrey? Will there be other mayors that support this behemoth of a bridge in this location? It’s going to be an interesting time at Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council.
You can take a look at the City of Delta’s video on why they think building this overpriced gigantic bridge is the right thing to do.