VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The BC Liberal Party is promising a new 10-lane bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel, but the NDP says a change in plans could cause major delays for the project.
The Liberals, if elected in the Oct. 24 provincial election, announced Monday they would immediately scrap the NDP’s plan to replace the tunnel with a 10-lane bridge, including a dedicated transit and HOV lane in each direction.
“Under the BC Liberals, drivers stuck in the worst traffic bottleneck in western Canada will finally see a new 10-lane bridge built to replace the George Massey tunnel, the NDP insider scheme will be scrapped and we will add $8 billion over three years to our Rebuild B.C. plan to build more schools, hospitals, transit and roads in every corner of the province,” says a release from the Liberals.
“When the NDP does build anything, it costs more because of their insider contract scheme that pays off their donors and friends while discriminating against 85 per cent of construction workers.”
Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson claims the NDP, over the past three years, intentionally stalled replacing the George Massey Tunnel.
A BC Liberal government will rebuild B.C. by accelerating infrastructure investments to meet the needs of our growing population, create jobs, and improve long-term productivity.
— BC Liberals | Restore Confidence. Rebuild BC. (@bcliberals) October 5, 2020
The BC NDP, however, says plans for a new, toll-free crossing at the Massey Tunnel are underway and set for final approval by the end of the year.
“Any change of course would risk major delays, risk losing federal financing, and set the project back years,” says the party.
Meanwhile, the Liberals are again criticizing Community Benefit Agreements, which are social requirements for public tendering that prioritize proposals that offer local jobs, public space improvement and are community defined. The NDP, though, says they are similar to Project Labour Agreements, which it claims the Liberals signed when they formed government, including seven dam projects.
The Liberals are further promising to create over 35,000 direct and indirect jobs as part of its $8 billion in infrastructure spending.
“This three-year commitment represents a 35 per cent increase over current capital spending commitments and will be the biggest infrastructure investment in B.C. history, with a total investment of $30.9 billion over three years,” the Liberals say.
The party further commits to further transit expansion in Metro Vancouver, and expansion the Trans Canada Highway corridor, as well as build new schools and upgrade care homes.
In May, then transportation minister Claire Trevena said the province will have money for the Massey Tunnel project.
The BC Green Party has not yet commented on the Massey Tunnel project.
Green party leader Sonia Furstenau expressed concern Monday that government support to small businesses and the tourism industry is being delayed due to the snap election. B.C.