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

Archive for January 9th, 2009

Please sign this petition

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The Wilderness Committee has put a new petition on the Care2 site. I have already signed it, and I would ask everyone who reads this blog to do so as well

Halt the Gateway Project

Target:           The Legislature of BC
Sponsored by:      Wilderness Committee
The B.C. Gateway Program may well be the most harmful transportation  infrastructure project in the history of BC if not all of Canada.

The estimate 10 billion dollar proposal includes new and expanded port infrastructure, highways, bridges, rail yards, and container terminals to facilitate importing more goods from China and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific and exporting more of B.C.’s non-renewable resources. Meanwhile demand for international shipping is declining due to the problems in the global economy.

Gateway would drastically increase our contribution to global warming and would negatively impact endangered species including the magnificent Orca whales and the habitat needed for thousands of migratory birds. Gateway would generate suburban sprawl and impact over 1,000 acres of farmland.

The Gateway Project was designed by the Gateway Council, a lobby group made up of Industry representatives.

This project in effect is a de-railing of the Livable Region Strategic Plan which was the result of extensive public consultation and meaningful dialogue after a similar highway expansion was canceled due to public opposition nearly 40 years ago.

Written by Stephen Rees

January 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Gateway

An electrifying offer from the provincial government

with 9 comments

I am reluctant to send my readers to the Sun all the time. For one thing, their web site has got really slow and seems to be something to do with its detachment from the canada.com portal.

But a lot of what passes for news there really isn’t. It is not new or ground breaking. Among the stories that do not seem to call for any comment are the continuing – and worsening – saga of the Olympic Village (surprise, it needs refinancing) and the purchase of new equipment for Translink using federal funds (already announced – some elements, like the third SeaBus, several times).

UPDATE 5:16pm January 9, 2008

The Georgia Straight now has the full text of a statement by Gregor Robertson

The Olympic Village is a billion-dollar project, and the City’s on the hook for all of it.

Pete McMartin has a new twist on another long running saga in his own neighbourhood. The provincial government has now made a very generous offer to homeowners impacted by  the power lines. Not just a good appraisal but also “property tax transfer, the homeowner’s legal fees, moving costs and any mortgage penalties incurred”.

Now why would they do that now – well it’s simple.  There’s an election coming up and Delta no longer looks like a safe seat for the BC Liberals. So our money is being used to polish the government’s image. Somehow I do not see that as being very convincing to the right wing type of voter they want to appeal to. Neither does Pete. He also has this striking observation.

Good luck with the optics of that. Because if you can make $70 million available to 138 homeowners in an affluent suburb who may or may not be affected by an electromagnetic field, how can you ignore the very real and ruinous effects of, say, the construction of the Canada Line on the dozens of businesses on Cambie, whose owners are now taking the government to court?

What would be “the reasonable thing to do” for them?

For reasons that are not apparent the Sun files this under “Technology” – I am going to put it under Politics. I will follow up with a prediction. Excpect more money to get shovelled off the back of the truck in the coming months

UPDATE Friday January 9 at 6:54

On rthe CBC tv news tonight Guy Gentner MLA for Delta North pointed out that the Province could have put the lines underground for $20m – a lot less than the $70m now at risk. Becuase the homes will be sold, on the open market, with the hope of recouping much of the outlay. In a declining property  market. Yeah, right.

Written by Stephen Rees

January 9, 2009 at 9:02 am

Posted in politics