VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – One new mayor is a noted anti-pipeline protester, the other is trying to scrap a major, federally-funded transit project — both will be sitting down with Justin Trudeau today.
The conversation could get interesting this afternoon in downtown Vancouver as the prime minister meets with Vancouver Mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart and Surrey Mayor-elect Doug McCallum.
Stewart is first in line.
The former NDP Member of Parliament for Burnaby South has been front and centre in protests against the federally-owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, arrested and convicted of contempt for violating a court order to stay five metres back from a Kinder Morgan work site on Burnaby Mountain earlier this year.
Next the PM will sit down with Surrey Mayor-elect Doug McCallum who is not backing down on promises to scrap his city’s already-approved $1.65 billion plan for a light rail transit line in favour of extending SkyTrain.
Ottawa has committed $483.8 million in funding for Surrey LRT and there has been no official word on what will happen with that money if the project doesn’t move ahead.
However Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie is on record suggesting the Liberal government will flip that funding to any effort to build SkyTrain if the city can get the region and province on board.
McCallum insists he can build SkyTrain for the same price as the LRT line but it is not clear if he will get enough support for the change from TransLink’s Mayors’ Council, given that the Surrey-Newton-Guildford light rail project has already been approved by all three levels of government and is fully funded.