BURNABY, B.C.: The NDP Government’s Massey Tunnel non-announcement today will keep Lower Mainland drivers idling in traffic unnecessarily for years to come, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).
“This is about a government using its partisan lens to look at a practical problem – the NDP don’t want to admit the BC Liberals ever had a single good idea,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Massey has undergone years of consultation and even had consultation about the consultation that was held. It’s time to build this bridge, get people out of traffic, and get our economy moving.”
The 10-lane Massey Bridge, cancelled by the NDP 16 months ago, was the product of a consultation process that took five years, nearly 150 technical reports, 35 meetings with regional authorities, and 110 meetings with municipal governments. “The NDP Government will shoot first and ask questions later on things like taxes, but won’t accept years of work on necessary infrastructure projects like Massey,” said Gardner. “The NDP’s handling of this project is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.”
The NDP’s own report acknowledges that reducing a new bridge to eight lanes will simply mean the same traffic delays 25 years from now as we see today.
“The South Fraser is growing in leaps and bounds, but the NDP refuse to acknowledge the need for new infrastructure to match. They talked the talk in opposition but don’t walk the walk in power,” said Gardner. “Whether it’s another delay on the Massey Bridge project or refusing to fund SkyTrain past Fleetwood or dragging their heels on new school construction, the is failing to invest in the infrastructure we need in our communities.”
Gardner also noted the NDP Government’s price tags don’t include a multi-million dollar markup for their preferred model of freezing out 85% of all construction workers in B.C. and handing over all construction contracts to the Building Trades unions that gave them millions in donations in previous elections. On the Pattullo Bridge, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena admitted the sweetheart deal will cost taxpayers at least seven per cent more – while other analyses show it could be several times that amount.
“By overpaying for construction on the Pattullo and Highway 1 projects, the NDP are running out of money for other critical infrastructure in Surrey and Delta,” said Gardner.