Gateway sucks?

Earlier, we reported provincial New Democrat transportation critic David Chudnovsky spoke to a mass rally organized by the Gateway 30 Network. This, despite the fact the party neither supports nor opposes that $3 billion highway expansion project. So does Mr. Chudnovsky's attendance at that rally indicate a change in New Democrat policy? In an interview with Public Eye, the former British Columbia Teachers' Federation president answered, "We certainly need to know the answers to the questions that I have asked for a year and a half now and the minister hasn't responded to. But there are some elements of this that have become clearer. One of them is that the route of the South Fraser Perimeter Road - as it's been put forward by (Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon) and Gateway comprise the agricultural land reserve and Burns Bog. And that's unacceptable. And I said that very clearly on Saturday."

"And I also talked a lot about a whole series of alternative transportation modes that we need to look really carefully at for areas south of the Fraser River," continued Mr. Chudnovsky. "Government's got essentially a road-based transportation strategy for the Lower Mainland. I think that's not the way to go. I think that essentially we need a transit and alternative transportation-based strategy for the Lower Mainland. That doesn't mean we never build another bridge or another road. But it does mean you've got to be going in the right direction. You've got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk."

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And now for the main event:

David "The Velvet Hammer" Chudnovsky and Shane Simpson vs Mike "Blacktop" Farnworth

Winner takes all in this Gateway Match

Special Referee: Carole "I'll Just Wait Till the Dust Settles Before Taking a Stand" James

Was Chudnovsky the only NDP MLA present at this rally? Why weren't Guy Gentner, Harry Bains, Bruce Ralston and Jagrup Brar there? Did they not want to be associated with this demonstration against their constituents?

I agree that the routing of the South Fraser Perimeter Road through agricultural land is a serious problem. In fact, that's one of the really huge givaway clues in terms of understanding the cynical and sinister realpolitik that lies behind the Gateway opposition cottage industry. Vancouver/Burnaby politicians such as David Cadman and Derek Corrigan, when they got their councils to pass yahoo resolutions opposing Port Mann and Highway 1, made it explicitly clear that they had no problem whatsoever with either the South or North Fraser Perimeter Roads, only the Port Mann-Hwy 1 project. Yet Port Mann and Hwy 1 will, with minor exceptions at the bridge site, use existing transportation rights of way and nearby industrial/commercial lands. It's the South Fraser Perimeter Road that involves significant new incursions into the ALR and the GVRD's Green Zone.

How on earth do you rationalize "no problem" with SFPR alongside absolute, vehement opposition to Port Mann-Hwy 1 if your issues are the environment and agricultural land preservation? The answer is simple. You don't.

What you do, and what Cadman and Corrigan and others do, is to intentionally abuse environmental rhetoric and ruthlessly exploit environmental sensitivities as a means of marketing your opposition to a project, Port Mann-Hwy 1, that you oppose for other, far less idealistic reasons. Such as a concern about relative property prices in the various municipal fiefdoms, and the shares of property taxes each municipality extracts from its share of the industrial and commercial tax base, and a real gut-level political phobia about supporting any provincial or federal public work that might in any way hasten the arrival of the day when there are more people and more political clout in Surrey and Langley than in Vancouver and Burnaby.

People have to understand that the enviromental rhetoric that's brought to bear on this project is totally fake, a clear case of deliberately deceptive marketing. The only green things most of these people are concerned about is the non-taxable capital gain in their principal residence.

Funny thing is, I live in the South Delta area and don't know anyone who is actually opposed to these highway projects. Might as well kick in the expansion of Hwys 10 and 15 to 4-lane divided.

Where are these opponents located in the woodwork?

"Where are these opponents located in the woodwork?"

Most live in Kitsilano, and East Vancouver, you know the more left wing parts of town.

Same people seem to come out and honk against everything they can see.

I won't hold my breath for Carole Dithers to make a decision on Gateway. I just saw Farnworth dominate the news cycle today, making AG Oppal look horrible. The sooner he's leader, the sooner the NDP will seriously challenge the Liberals.

I assume New Dem is refering to Farnworth's comments on the notorious Darnell Pratt case. I agree that on this one he has shown good instincts, an accurate feel for the public mood.

In that regard, he's progressing well from earlier lapses and is following the lead of Carole James, who has shown an almost WAC like intuition in the field of public opinion. Politics is always easier for the politician who doesn't need a pollster.

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