Some fine comments by Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail on Al Gore’s presentation last Saturday, and the Gateway protest out front:
VANCOUVER — As people arrived at the Bayshore Hotel Saturday night to hear Al Gore speak, they had to pass a small group of placard-toting protesters trying to be heard above the din of a driving rain.
Those strolling through the hotel’s front doors didn’t pay much attention to the group. It was such a hellish night, nobody was wandering over to see what all the fuss was about. As it turned out, the group was protesting against B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell’s Gateway project, which includes plans to widen highways and twin bridges – initiatives the protesters said accommodated carbon dioxide emissions, not diminished them ….
I believe the world’s scientists when they say we are running out of time to fix this problem. I also believe that as global issues go, this is No. 1. … Despite that, our politicians, well many of them anyway, still don’t get it.
To my mind, this is the only issue in the next federal election; which party has a plan to actually do something about climate change. …
Which brings me back to the shivering protesters outside the hotel Saturday.
I’m starting to think this is what everyone in this country may soon have to do: Grab a placard and hit the streets…. If it takes marching to be heard then marching it shall be.
Even in the rain.
So: “Gordon Campbell’s Gateway project.” Read more »
I suspect that’s not the brand the Premier likes to see in print. “Kevin Falcon’s Gateway project” perhaps – but not Campbell’s.
I’m with Bill Good on this: if Gateway were announced today, it would be a different kind of project. Certainly one with transit as a major component, not as an afterthought.
[When will the media start to ask why a queue-jumper bus lane cannot be done now? Why do we need a new bridge likely a decade away to provide transit service equivalent to the Lions Gate Bridge today?]
I’d love to know the inside story on how the twinning of the Port Mann was pulled off. My hunch is that Falcon announced it with little warning, and the Liberals found themselves locked in, using goods movement as an excuse, not as a reason. (Only 6 percent of the traffic across Port Mann is trucks; goods movement is meant to be accommodated on the South Fraser Perimeter Road.)
The Premier, I’d also guess, never thought the protest over Gateway would sustain itself, much less continue to build. There’s even the danger that by 2010 the road-building projects – Sea-to-Sky, Gateway, the perimeter roads, the plans for Highway 99 and Deas Island tunnel – will overwhelm any attempt to brand the Olympics as green, as well as a sincerity test for his climate change goals.
I’ll stick with the prediction that Gateway will have to be repositioned as part of an extensive transit and land-use strategy for South of the Fraser.