Monday, January 14, 2008

$14B buys you a lot of transit

Premier Gordon Campbell knocked one out of the park with his transit announcement today. In the biggest funding announcement in B.C. history the rapid transit will extend into the Fraser Valley, the Millennium Line will reach UBC, the Tri-Cities will get its Evergreen Line and a variety of upgrades will be made to the transit fleets throughout the province.

Although the already under construction Canada Line was bundled within the other announcements to raise the total figure, this funding program is looking like it could be just what Gordon Campbell wants in a legacy project. If all goes according to plan British Columbians will look back on the transit element of Campbell's greening with praise in the way that Bill Bennett's champions cite the Coquihalla and Expo among his great accomplishments.

For Burnaby there appear to be several positives such as reducing the pressure on traffic along Hastings and the Lougheed from the Tri-Cities in the north half of the city, improvining access to UBC, and increasing access to the south of the Fraser communities. For now let's focus on the positives. Tomorrow everyone can get back to Burnaby's real political passion of fighting over Gateway.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"improvining"?

Many of these projects aren't exactly 'new', they have been on the books for years.

This is just a catch-up to get where we should have been 7 years ago.

The Evergeen Line's proposal goes back to 1989 (it's hardly something that Harry Bloy decided is new).

The Canada Line is 75% to 80% complete.

As for "Burnaby's real political passion of fighting over Gateway", that's more of those who are attached to the Gordo Campbell BC Liberals than the populace at large.

Most Burnaby residents are in favour of the project and have been since it was initially announced a year and a half ago.

1/15/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is an anti-premier mayor necessarily a good thing? Probably not. While Mayor Corrigan would like to see himself as the premier of BC once he leads NDP to majority after replacing Carole James as their leader, that sounds quite a bit far-fetched, and it is probably something that will only happen in fairy tales. What is not fairy tale is that being so closely associated with a party on the opposite of the big spender is probably not really a good for the city that he is running, especially with a tight city budget these days.

1/16/2008 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is an anti-premier mayor necessarily a good thing? Probably not."

Why not? Civic leadership does not mean supporting everything the Premier does. There's been opposition of sorts to this grandiose plan from other civic leaders other than Burnaby.

"While Mayor Corrigan would like to see himself as the premier of BC once he leads NDP to majority after replacing Carole James as their leader,"

How so? Has he said so? Is he working towards that?

1/16/2008 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bluesky scenario for Gordo's legacy is not quite so sunny as it seems. The Evergreen Line was supposed to be finished before 2010. Voters in Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam will not fall for the hype a third time. The Gateway proposal for twinning the Portmann Bridge IS a controversy in Burnaby - regardless of what some recent private pushpolls claim.

At least two of the three Bby seats held by the Libs could be lost next year. Add these to Lorne Mayencourts seat in downtown Vancouver and maybe the redrawn Port Moody-Coquitlam seat, a worsening economic situation, and the corrupton that comes out this year in the Dave Basi trial. The next election will be a squeaker one way or the other.

1/17/2008 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone in the Lower Mainland including the Board of Trade spoke positively about the transit announcement -- except of course, our socialist mayor of Burnaby. He huffed and puffed that this line has been promised before each of the last three elections. What he doesn't say is the region desperately wanted the New Westminster to Coquitlam rapid transit route but Corrigan and Volkow's buddy Glen Clark did the billion dollar Millenium line that scuttled the Evergreen line but connected five NDP ridings. Such is NDP hypocrisy -- they expect people will forget the history and when Corrigan ranted and raved against the Canada Line, he didn't mention that it was part of the regional strategy as well.
It's just like the hypocrisy of Corrigan's support for Glen Clark's freeway widening but opposition to Gordon Campbell's freeway widening.

1/17/2008 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is obvious who has the final say on transit issues, it is those fund raisers behind Gordon Campbell who presides over the most wealthy riding of BC. So it is no doubt who benefit from an infrastructure that was politically motivated. To say that is benefits Burnaby directly is not going to come across well the the city dwellers east of Vancouver. This sort of political is played throughout history, socialist or capitalist. Mayor's comment/bitterness towards Gordon Campbell is not difficult to comprehend as he is simply speaking as a Burnaby resident with clearly no say in such matters.

But let's admit it, our mayor's legacy is not going to be based on transportation anyways, rather it would be his "effort" in Operation Oil-Storm which has already turned into a multi-million lawsuit against his own government. Campbell's transit plan is admittedly far from perfect especially for those in Burnaby that he is not thinking about buying. But our mayor lacks the proper credential for his "critics" on BCL, at least no more than his neighbor next door.

1/17/2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is obvious who has the final say on transit issues, it is those fund raisers behind Gordon Campbell who presides over the most wealthy riding of BC."

Er no, it is the decision of cabinet not the so-called 'creme-de-la creme' in Arbutus types.

The UBC line was originally proposed by Glen Clark who later decided the M-Line was to be built.

"So it is no doubt who benefit from an infrastructure that was politically motivated. To say that is benefits Burnaby directly is not going to come across well the the city dwellers east of Vancouver. This sort of political is played throughout history, socialist or capitalist. Mayor's comment/bitterness towards Gordon Campbell is not difficult to comprehend as he is simply speaking as a Burnaby resident with clearly no say in such matters. "

Well the citizens do, and they will be voting.

"But let's admit it, our mayor's legacy is not going to be based on transportation anyways, rather it would be his "effort" in Operation Oil-Storm which has already turned into a multi-million lawsuit against his own government."

That's because Team Burnaby will go the safe route and run that into the ground rather than come up with goals that will actually mean something positive for Burnaby, should there be a Team Burnaby majority. It's far easier to play '4th period coach' than it is to build a respected team that wins.

"Campbell's transit plan is admittedly far from perfect especially for those in Burnaby that he is not thinking about buying."

It's not really Campbell's plan, but rather the sum of things that have been planned for years. All Campbell did was put these into a snazzy presentation that makes him and the politicians look good, but there's no details as to how it will be paid for.

"But our mayor lacks the proper credential for his "critics" on BCL, at least no more than his neighbor next door."

He indeed does since he's been around Burnaby politics much longer than some BCL types, and his political history goes back much further than the Gordon Campbell version of the BCL.

1/17/2008 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Jonny Quest said...

The BC gov can propose any transit proposal they want... as happened in the '90's... but the BC gov's financial coffers were bare in the '90's doldrums, and they just couldn't "walk the walk".

Over the past 4 years the BC gov has generated around $12 billion in surpluses. Furthermore, the feds have also stepped up to the plate in BC over the past 5 years on all infrastructure projects that the prov has requested.

The financial foundation for these transit lines is now in place.

As for the poster who stated that the NRG Group poll, showing that 72% of Burnaby residents support the Gateway Program (inclusing twinning the Port Mann Bridge), is a "push poll", ya better stay outta that business, as that's incompetent and improper spin. lol

1/19/2008 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BC gov can propose any transit proposal they want... as happened in the '90's... but the BC gov's financial coffers were bare in the '90's doldrums, and they just couldn't "walk the walk".

Partially true, but the NDP went ahead with the M-Line which was opened just before the BC Liberals entered the picture. The coffers were bare also because of the FastCat disaster. But the NDP also
went ahead with the HOV expansion of Highway 1 and there was very little opposition to that (surprise surprise).

"Over the past 4 years the BC gov has generated around $12 billion in surpluses."

Surpluses generally mean the government is taking in more than it spends, as an accumulative of revenue over expenditures. It's not correct to add up all surpluses
accumulative since there are variants in expenditures.

"Furthermore, the feds have also stepped up to the plate in BC over the past 5 years on all
infrastructure projects that the prov has requested."

True, but that has more to do with
political rather than economics. In other words it is "buying the votes" and that total sent to BC does not cover all of the money sent back to Ottawa in motive fuel and other transportation generated taxation. There is no specific usage assigned to motor fuel taxes collected as it goes into general revenue.

"The financial foundation for these transit lines is now in place."

Not nessesarily, since the federal government has yet to contribute its share to the BC Transit Regional Plan.

"As for the poster who stated that the NRG Group poll, showing that 72% of Burnaby residents support the Gateway Program (inclusing twinning the Port Mann Bridge), is a "push poll", ya better stay outta that business, as that's incompetent and improper spin. lol"

The GetMoving BC / NG Poll is a bit artificial, but the reality is that irrespective of any useless website wanting projects that are going to be built anyway, the majority of Burnaby citizens do support Gateway.

1/19/2008 8:13 PM  

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