More hyperbole regarding the rethink of the Massey Bridge has emerged as reported in the Delta Optimist. The newly minted Delta South MLA, former Delta Councillor Ian Paton had previously said at an all candidates meeting that he could not figure out why the City of Vancouver did not “clean up” the Downtown Eastside and said that such a situation “would not be allowed” in Delta. This time Mr. Paton takes aim at the other politicians questioning the tunnel replacement, despite the fact that this project is not supported by Metro Vancouver or by the Mayors’ Council, is overbuilt and will cost $12 billion dollars with carrying costs, will take away the best farmland in Canada, and will be built on a sensitive floodplain.
“Our economy is at stake and the agreement between the NDP and the Green party to kill infrastructure spending for the sake of pursuing their own political interests is putting the province’s future at risk. The fact is that after years of consultation, we need a tunnel replacement urgently, and if you are sitting in traffic daily, you want a solution ASAP. By tossing aside years of consultation, planning, and design work Horgan is essentially saying he is not interested in representing folks in Delta, or B.C. for that matter.”
This is all interesting as it has been a rather one hand clapping kind of consultation, and if anyone with the government actually read through the studies you could see that there is a bit of a bias and a lot lacking in those consultative reports. Couple that with “congestion” that could be ameliorated by simply running Deltaport 24 hours a day like every other port in North America and limiting truck traffic at peak times in the tunnel. Those solutions would not cost billions of dollars. As well all of a sudden the tunnel is not seismically sound, despite previous reports suggesting otherwise, and the fact the same tunnels are in use in Europe with anticipated long lifespans.
The BC Liberal Caucus decided to make the sensible Massey Tunnel rethink issue even a bigger conundrum, saying on twitter that “the NDP’s opposition to the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project puts the economy at risk”. This is the same government that insisted on a transit referendum for Metro Vancouver, and after that failed, offered no solution. Not championing public transit accessibility in the region puts the economy at risk. Rethinking a multi-billion dollar expenditure that appears to be a pet project by one political party, in the wrong place for the region? Not so much.