An analysis of the regional economy has just about been completed by UBC profs Tom Hutton and Trevor Barnes for Metro Vancouver. Here’s what they say in the third paragraph:
In addition to the foundational features of Metro Vancouver’s economy of Port Metro Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), these are the cornerstones of Metro Vancouver’s economy:
- Higher education and related advanced research activity,
- the health and medical complex,
- finance and business services,
- property development
Then there are clusters of specialized industries and labour:
- film and video production,
- social media,
- green industry technologies,
- high-value food and beverage production
With the exceptions of aerospace and perhaps major telecommunications centres, literally every one of these businesses, industries and clusters can be found along the Broadway corridor from Boundary Road to UBC – including the proposed route of the next rapid-transit line. This is where the high-value jobs of the present and the future can be found.
If there was a single infrastructure project that would support and accelerate these economic generators, it would be the transit line to serve, connect and extend this corridor. That would be the project any provincial government would be be 100 percent behind if its platform was based on promoting a healthy economy and providing jobs. That would be the first project to promote rather than, for instance, a 10-lane bridge to land below sea level, much less the extension of a highway into a hinterland with almost no job base, to serve a population less than the West End.
And yet, would anyone say that the Broadway rapid-transit line is a high priority for the provincial Liberals, a must-get-done commitment of a Government of Yes?
And the question then is: why not?