On the Road to Nowhere
Apr 20 2007
Kevin Falcon addressed the Delta Chamber of Commerce and spouted the same rhetoric that he is becoming known for.
He stated that the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) will not impact Burns Bog, yet his environmental application says: ďAn estimated 12.78 hectares of land supporting the viability of Burns BogÖ would be impacted due to the SFPR. About 7 hectares of this is Zone 1 land with attributes required to preserve the viability of Burns Bog...Ē
Kevin, if you destroy land that is required to preserve its viability, then you are threatening the very life of the bog.
He also said that the Hoover-Naas proposal would take up the same amount of agricultural land as his South Fraser Perimeter Road proposal. The Hoover-Naas proposal is a two-lane truck route that stays within the railway right-of-way, while the SFPR would be four lanes running directly through our best farmland.
In addition, Falcon said that the Hoover-Naas only deals with 10 per cent of the traffic.
However, since it removes all the heavy trucks from Highway 17 and each truck is the equivalent of a least three car lengths and far less manoeuverable, this equates to over 30 per cent of the traffic taken off Highway 17. Again, this math isnít too difficult.
Math might not be a strong point for Kevin and his ministry, but they should be able to understand that the Hoover-Naas proposal would be at least $200 million cheaper. In addition, Olaf Naas, who developed the proposal, has extensive experience in road and rail building in and around the bog lands.
Sunbury Neighbourhood Association
Residents want a tunnel
It was with a heavy heart that I read Mr. Falconís comments to the Surrey Board of Trade regarding the SFPR.
The words that really struck home were directed at the people of North Delta Ė specifically Annieville and Sunbury.
He says that it doesnít make a lot of sense to him to spend extra money to tunnel just four kilometres of the SPFR.
Well, Mr. Falcon, those four kilometres are where hundreds of families live and have lived for a very long time so it makes a lot of sense to us. Your comments make it sound like you think our communities are not worth any effort on your part to even try to find the extra money to save our communities.
Why is it that this government can find the money to tunnel under Vancouver for the new rapid transit line instead of expropriating everyone there?
We all pay the same taxes. Are we not entitled to the same treatment?
Why is it that this government can find millions of dollars to resolve worker contracts in order to have a smooth ride to 2010? And we all know that the spending for 2010 is not over. They will require more and somehow that extra money will be found.
Why is it also that when the costs to expropriate families from their homes in this area exceeds expectations that this government can find more money in order to continue with the expropriations?
Why then can you not then find the extra money to put in a tunnel and not expropriate at all?
And of those several hundred residents that face expropriation, they will actually be the lucky ones as it is the thousands left behind that will suffer the continued health and financial consequences of this current highway design with no compensation whatsoever.
Mr. Falcon, it makes no sense to cause such grave damage to a long established community when there is the feasible alternative of a tunnel.
D. L. March
New SFPR math
My, how the numbers game can change. When the North Delta tunnel proposal was first discussed by Kevin Falcon, he said that the North Delta portion of the SFPR would be $187 million but the tunnel would be $400 million. That was only two years ago.
Since that didnít scare people away from the tunnel proposal, he now states that the tunnel would cost up to $850 million, but his SFPR in North Delta has only gone up to $188 million.
Not only that, the SFPR costs do not include the increased health care costs (he admits there will be a large increase in health-related jobs as a result); mitigation costs for wildlife, archaeology, agriculture, noise/light/air pollution; expropriation (for which he has a $200-million contingency) and many other direct and indirect factors.
It seems that the more people are opposed to the SFPR, the higher the tunnel costs go.
I guess people arenít buying Kevinís rhetoric.
I dare Kevin to do an actual cost comparison of the SFPR versus the tunnel, including all costs. The difference will not be that great.
Remember, Kevin, doing what is right isnít always doing what is easy.