Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has a reputation for being one of the staunchest conservatives in the provincial Liberal caucus. But perhaps he's not as different from the socialist New Democrats as some may think. On Friday, while delivering a speech to the Lower Mainland Municipal Association's annual general meeting, Minister Falcon spoke about a 32 kilometre bridge that was recently built to connect mainland China to a new, island-based deep water port. Joked the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA, "No one there ever questions the need to build infrastructure like this. Now, granted, China has a bit of a different governance structure. But, in many ways, it is the ideal governance structure." As the room broke into laughter, Minister Falcon added, "China really has the ultimate Kevin Falcon government structure" - which got even more guffaws from the audience. He then wryly noted that, the Chinese "don't have the labour or environmental restrictions we do. It's not like they have to do community consultations. They just say 'we're building a bridge' and they move everyone out of there and get going within two weeks. Could you imagine if we could build like that?" Minister Falcon subsequently confirmed those quotes in an interview with Public Eye.
May 17, 2006