Expect the BC Liberals to demonize the NDP over the Massey ‘tunnel’ replacement, but remember how morally repugnant that party is and the politics they played beforehand. Every word spoken by them must be taken with several grains of salt.
Its true that politicians play a blacktop politics game; as in ‘vote for me and I’ll build [thing]’, usually some major infrastructure. But that wasn’t necessary in 2001 as the BC Liberals strolled to power against a weakened NDP and needed to promise very little outside the platitudes they’ve failed to live up to since.
But, infrastructure is needed. BC has aging bridges and highways that need replacing. The oldest one being the Pattullo Bridge connecting north Surrey/Delta to New Westminster. It was opened for business in 1937. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the Port Mann Bridge which was originally opened in 1964. Guess which the BC Liberals decided to replace? Not the older, Pattullo Bridge.
The idea wasn’t without controversy. It was to be an expanded, 10 lane bridge; build under the BC Liberals preferred P3 model; with tolls. Public Private Partnerships were preferred by the BC Liberals because it kept the debt load off the provincial books, even if taxpayers ended up paying more under this framework.
Well the deal fell through and the BC Liberal government was forced to use the traditional model of financing, keeping the toll.
By keeping this toll in place, the BC Liberal government forced a significant uptick on the already over-capacity Alex Fraser Bridge and the pre-WW2 Pattullo Bridge; triggering traffic jams like nobody had seen before.
These are the clowns who built the Sea To Sky on another P3 model, but using ‘shadow tolls‘ to pay the consortium who built the project and its their model for the (now cancelled) Massey Bridge project.
This is what the BC Liberals will try to attack the NDP over, and while crossing the Fraser River through the ‘tunnel’ is a pain in the ass at the best of times, the NDP has likely saved taxpayers a tonne of money so that a more transparent project may be done.
The BC Liberals never built a Pattullo replacement bridge because it wasn’t politically expedient to serve traditional NDP leaning seats when they could drop in a mega-billion dollar project in some swing seats they needed to keep.
These folks are desperate to get back into power…and will say anything to do so.