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Scheer pledges to prioritize Massey Tunnel replacement, ease commutes across country

FILE - Massey Tunnel backup. (NEWS 1130 File Photo)
Summary

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says best way to fight climate change is to invest in transit, infrastructure

At an appearance in Coquitlam Friday he said he would prioritize projects that would shorten commute times

Replacing B.C.'s George Massey Tunnel was one project he said he would put at the top of his list

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer skipped climate protests in favour of making a transportation announcement Friday, saying the best way to fight climate change is to invest in infrastructure that will ease commute times.

“Commuters in Vancouver and other urban centres face more traffic congestion, longer drives to the office and less time with their families,” Scheer says told a crowd in Coquitlam.

B.C.’s George Massey tunnel was one of three projects he used as an example of an inefficient piece of infrastructure that he would move to replace.

“It’s a simple question: Will this project reduce commute times?” Scheer asked. “If the answer is yes, then that project will be put to the top of the list on the approvals process.”

He says despite the Liberal government pledging $187 billion toward infrastructure, nothing seems to be getting done.

Earlier this year–calling it one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Canada–the mayors of Delta, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and White Rock, along with the Chiefs of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen First Nations urged the B.C’s NDP government to move ahead with a new eight-lane tunnel. When they came to power in 2017, the NDP scrapped a 10 lane bridge plan created by the previous Liberal government, stalling progress on replacing the congested crossing.

Scheer didn’t say whether he favoured a tunnel or a bridge, nor did he say how much he would budget for the project or how long construction could take.

With files from Alison Bailey and Marcella Bernardo