With the No side clearly in front in this spring’s transit plebiscite, Tuesday’s announcement by Transportation Minister Todd Stone is perplexing.
In the middle of the campaign to persuade Metro Vancouver voters to say either yes or no to the .5-per-cent congestion improvement sales tax, Stone makes the grand announcement of its B.C. On the Move, 10-year transportation plan.
It promises to widen Hwy. 1 to six lanes from Langley to Abbotsford, at some point, as well as more overpasses, bicycle lanes and a new, likely a tolled bridge, one of the government’s pet projects, to replace the George Massey Tunnel. Funding however for the 10-year plan, has only been identified for three years.
But to transportation-talked-out voters, it’s more confusion to the mix. And confused people often don’t vote, or they get angry and vote no and say to heck with everyone.
Why would the government make its announcement at this time? It easily could have waited until the mail-in voting period finished at the end of May.
There’s something malicious or mischievious in the way the government plays with Metro Vancouver government and residents, struggling under steadily rising property taxes and house prices.
It must play well in the hinterland when the MLAs can say the latte-sipping denizens of the Lower Mainland get no favours from the province.