Victoria/Fraser Valley – Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin delivered the Speech from the Throne on Tuesday to open the next session of the Legislature. The speech, which focussed on initiatives by the government over the first years of its mandate, included some forward-looking items of interest to local government, further details on which will likely be made available in the Budget next week.
But one mention of Rapid Transit for the Fraser Valley caught the eye of many. It didn’t delve into detail.
FVN put out calls to Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness. Martin’s office return the call and a spokesperson said they were as surprised as everyone with the mention.
Rail for the Valley responded to FVN’s request for comment and said – Slowly, They Get It.
It is slowly beginning to dawn on people that SkyTrain will not be coming to their community anytime soon.
It is also dawning on people that what we call SkyTrain is just much too expensive to build, that it can only can be built in small drips and drabs, 12 km to 20 km per decade.
People are realizing that the region just cannot afford dated light-metro, especially the MALM proprietary railway and are beginning to question the $4.6 billion now being spent extending the MALM system a mere 12.8 km in Vancouver and Surrey.
Political “wish list” for rapid transit projects.
- Rapid transit to the North Shore – minimum $5 billion
- Canada line extension to Steveston/Ironwood Mall (including rehab) – minimum $5 billion
- Rapid transit to Abbotsford – $8 to $14 billion.
Planning for Growth
The good jobs and opportunities of a sustainable economy should be available to everyone, in every community.This government is promoting quality economic growth that increases wages, generates revenues to fund public services, and shares the benefits of growth broadly throughout the province.By promoting a strong, sustainable tourism sector, this government is offering visitors authentic and unforgettable experiences that drive economic growth in all regions.By expanding high-speed internet in nearly 500 rural, remote, and Indigenous communities since July 2017, this government is closing the digital divide and creating opportunities for growth.By supporting the innovation corridor in the Fr a s e r Va l l e y, and creating a new quantum computing institute at SFU Surrey, this government is helping distribute the benefits of a sustainable economy throughout the Lower Mainland.For people in the valley, that means more opportunities for a good-paying job, more options for housing, a shorter commute, and more time with family.B.C. will add one million people to its population over the next 10 years, putting pressure on B.C.’s transportation and trade corridors.British Columbians are already spending too much time in gridlock.This government is getting people moving.
Government’s partnerships with local governments means that work is already underway on a long-term vision for transit and transportation in the Lower Mainland.British Columbians can look forward to more options like rapid transit, HOV lanes and commuter rail out to the Fr a s e r Va l l e y, and high-speed rail connections with our neighbours to the south.Not all of this growth is happening in the Lower Mainland.This government is taking an all-of-B.C. approach with an integrated transportation plan to reduce congestion, and build for trade and business growth.
To keep people and goods moving, government is extending its transportation capital plan from three years to five years.This change will allow for better planning of major projects like the George Massey crossing
You can watch the video of the speech here. Click to Tuesday, February 11, 2020, Afternoon