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Replacement of Massey Tunnel not a priority: NDP

DELTA (NEWS1130) – The NDP leader has other transportation priorities. We’ve now heard from Adrian Dix on the Massey Tunnel Replacement Project and he tells us if he’s elected, he will not push a plan that’s been started by the BC Liberals.

Dix has his doubts about the project as it’s currently laid out. “The Liberals have talked about the Massey Tunnel,” he says. “I think the premier, in her speech to the UBCM, talked about the Massey Tunnel. There’s no money or real plan attached to that.”

He says the only thing his government would inherit is some findings from public consultations.

Dix says there are other areas in the province that need infrastructure help and he points out Metro Vancouver desperately needs transit improvements. He does admit the tunnel will eventually need a closer look.

“We’ll have to assess that issue as we assess others,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the NDP candidate in Delta North is clarifying her position on replacing the Massey Tunnel after her Liberal rivals accused her of not making it a priority.

Sylvia Bishop says she’s all for public consultation.

“In fact I attended the first one, which was held in December. You know who I didn’t see? The two Liberal candidates who say I don’t support looking at addressing the tunnel,” Bishop explains.

“I stress it’s important to do a consultation process before undertaking such a massive construction process. Whether the Liberals are committed is unclear because it’s an unfunded project. It didn’t show up anywhere in the budget,” adds Bishop.

Next week, the BC Liberals will unveil some potential tunnel replacement options.

Transportation Minister Mary Polak doesn’t seem surprised the NDP won’t move ahead with the Tunnel.

“It’s important to note the record of both parties on major infastructure in the province. Certainly, we’ve seen what the NDP did when they were in office; nothing on the Lower Mainland in tems of major road projects,” says Polak.

She says the BC Liberals have spent over $15 billion on transportation projects since 2001 and insists funding committments for the tunnel are coming.

“We have the history, the credibility, we deliver on projects that we promise. NDP, the entire time they were in office, did not deliver a single major road improvement project on the Lower Mainland. The last one, when they took office, was the Alex Fraser Bridge in ’86,” she adds.