In that Provincial story that just doesn’t change and won’t go away the Delta Optimist’s Ian Jacques lets us know that Peter Fassbender, minister of community sport, culture development and minister responsible for TransLink has spoken. Despite the fact that the Federal Government has earmarked 2.2 billion dollars for transit and for the replacement of the Patullo Bridge, and nothing for the massive multi billion dollar proposed Massey Bridge, the Province is doggedly determined to go forward with their bridge reincarnation of the Massey Tunnel.
And there is a bit of a backhand at the Federal government and the Metro Mayors too-the Province is not going to match the 2.2 billion dollars in transit funding provided by the Federal government, insisting that the Metro region pony up with 33 per cent of the funding. But somehow the Province will have 3.5 billion dollars (at current estimates) for this bridge, despite Metro Mayors’ protest that it is overbuilt, in the wrong place, on a floodplain river delta, further compromising the Fraser River estuary and decimating the most arable farmland in Canada. But never mind, back to the Provincial government’s point of view.
“Fassbender said according to the feds, the project is not eligible because it is already in effect underway and the transit funding announced is for rapid transit projects on existing or new infrastructure.” The Mayor of Delta (and the only mayor of the Metro Mayors supportive of the Massey Bridge) provided a positive spin. “We have a great deal of dollars coming from the feds relative to the Alex Fraser, the interchanges at Highway 17, at the weigh scales and the bottom of Nordel Way, so we have a lot of federal money coming to Delta and I’m ecstatic about that. What we are doing, and have continued to do, is talk with Ottawa and all work together to try and get additional funding for the bridge and if that happens, great, but it doesn’t change the situation.”
The situation is clear that the Province wants this bridge at all costs. Imagine what 3.5 billion dollars could do for improved public transportation in the region. And remember that the Province valued this overbuilt bridge instead of a more comprehensive metro Vancouver public transportation network.