City of Burnaby position against Gateway/Port Mann Twinning

My favourite blog of all, Stephen Ree’s blog, has a new post up today.  It includes a pdf file of a newspaper pull-out for the BurnabyNOW and Burnaby News Leader.  It’s paid for by the City of Burnaby and outlines their reasons for opposing the Gateway project.  Go to Stephen’s post here and take a look at the pdf yourself.

The more I read about the Gateway Project, the more I don’t like it.  Admittedly, I do frequent blogs/sites/media that are typically opposed to Gateway.  So I’m well saturated with their arguments.  Obviously there are some potential benefits, but a lot of factors have changed since the initial proposal many years ago.  The economy has changed, especially in the US.  The massive amounts of shipping to be expected are not materializing as many supporters thought.  The local ports have quieted down in the past year or so.  A couple of factors come into play here.  The slowdown of the US economy, the rise of oil prices, and the rise in value of the Chinese RMB.  Not as many things are being shipped these days compared to before.  Even the highly-touted Prince Rupert port is still relatively quiet and has not seen the expected rush of cargo.

In addition, as many opponents have argued, cargo is most effectively transported across a continent via rail.  Rail is cheaper and much more efficient than trucks.  Gateway claims that the new highways are needed for moving freight through the region.  However, most truck freight is destined for regional or local places, not for distant continental destinations as the Gateway Project says.

Thankfully, the Liberals have announced a $14 billion plan to expand transit, but if you read the fine print, they are only paying for a portion of that $14 billion and are expecting other levels of government to chip in, mainly the federal government.  If all the billions of dollars could be redirected from Gateway to the Transit plan, we’d have more efficient transportation network.  We could more people through existing and new transit infrastructure.

Read the pull out and make your own decision.  Thanks to Stephen for sharing the pdf.

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