That was then, this is now

Astute Public Eye readers will be aware of the Campbell administration's Gateway Program - a $3 billion infrastructure project which the government claims will "help create a comprehensive, effective transportation network that supports improved movement of people and goods, facilitates economic growth, increases transportation choice and provides better connections to designated population growth areas." But one wonders what Finance Minister Carole Taylor thinks about those claims. Over the summer, The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer tantalizingly mentioned Ms. Taylor "during her term as a Vancouver city councillor, strongly opposed building freeways into the city to please commuters in Surrey." In fact, when the Vander Zalm government rolled out its ten year highway expansion plan (entitled Freedom to Move), she was quoted by the broadsheet's Denny Boyd on December 3, 1988 as saying "When I see words like...better port access, they're like red flags. They alarm me." The following is a complete copy of that quote, which was excavated by Public Eye.

"When I see words like third crossing, Grandview Cut, better port access, they're like red flags. They alarm me. The plan we got this week looks like a revival of the Great Freeway debate of the Seventies, when it was believed that the answer to everything was bigger, faster roads.

"Those aren't solutions to anything; they just increase the threat against our quality of life, they just give us more traffic, more pollution, more threats to residential neighborhood.

"When I see the suggestion that the Grandview Cut be used to move people and to move goods, I see another Spadina Expressway, bumper-to-bumper trucks and cars cutting right through a residential neighborhood and crashing up against the heart of the city.

"The problem with decisions like these is that the consequences aren't seen for 10 years, when it's too late.

"I think one answer would be for Vancouver to be less greedy. We want more housing in downtown Vancouver, we want most of the commercial space to be downtown. But we're going to have to share that development with the regions, spread it around with co-operative regional planning, share the growth.

"If we can do that, and then link the regions with a transit system that a secretary and a business executive will both agree is a comfortable alternative to driving their own cars to work, then we can protect the quality of life we all want."


That was then, this is now. The big gun against the plan to freeway throught downtown was Mike Harcourt.

Too Bad Mikey is now on-board with the PM2. Thought we learned a lesson about freeway expansion. Too bad our leaders forget them.

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