Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for June 12th, 2008

PM2/Hwy1 gets an Environmental Certificate

with 4 comments

The masochists among you can read the grisly details at

Which simply demonstrates that BC does not have an Environmental Assessment process worthy of the name.

The decision was always a foregone conclusion. There has yet to be a single EA in BC that has stopped a project. And when the government is judge and jury in its own case, and government employees know what is expected of them, there really was never any doubt about the outcome. Did anyone ever read any of those letters and emails?

At a time when due solely to rising oil prices, use of cars for personal transportation is declining and demand for transit far exceeds supply, the decision to proceed with a freeway expansion will be seen as acting in defiance of common sense. The major issue currently facing humans is that our recent exponential increase in fossil fuel use is not only not sustainable, but is actually threatening our survival as a species. The government of BC likes to pretend it is “green” and has introduced a carbon tax which, in comparison to real increases in fuel costs, is trivial. Gordon Campbell also likes to champion daft ideas like the “hydrogen highway” as if that will make the slightest bit of difference when there is no hydrogen car currently available and the only likely ones are those mandated by and for government use. You can’t buy one and you certainly could not use it as a daily commuter if you could.

At the same time workable solutions to traffic congestion and rising transit demand have been around for years. They do not have the glitz and glamour to make them good photo opportunities for self admiring premiers. They just happen to work. But they will be ignored, just like every other proposal that has been put forward for sensible policies for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. BC’s first Greenhouse Gas Action Plan was simply ignored. Filed away and forgotten about. The team that wrote it dispersed. It had 48 proposals every one of which had a pay back period of two years or less. With not a single ribbon cutting opportunity.

We can now look forward to a continuing period of BC working to encourage suburban sprawl and car use, while the rest of the world is mostly making better choices.

And the only people to blame for this are the BC Liberals. For it is not as if they have not been told, very firmly and clearly, how obvious the falsehoods, how risible the justifications – and how futile the effort will be. Future generations – if there are any – will lokk back at tis time and ask “What on earth were they thinking?” and the answer is easy. They think there friends in the development business stand to make a fortune. Frankly, I doubt it. Not when gas now is near $1.50 a litre and going higher.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Gateway