If there is any doubt that there was political chicanery involved with the Canada Line, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has put that to rest. SkyTrain, which if one cared to take a look back in history, was carefully planned to have a major extension opening coincide with a Social Credit election window every three and a half years. Glenn Clark was not to be out done and opened the West Coast Express, known at the time as the ‘Re-election Express’ and the SkyTrain vehicle fabrication plant that would supply SkyTrain cars to Asia, prior to NDP election windows.
Everyone is jumping on the Canada Line bandwagon, but if there isn’t a significant modal shift from car to metro of about 30% or more, the project will be a failure. As it stands, the RAV/Canada line is an overbuilt metro, serving a small population base, that will never be extended in our lifetimes and will suck money away from the rest of the transit system. Despite the hype and hoopla in the mainstream media, which wouldn’t know a PCC from a U-2, the Canada Lines success will not be carrying 100,000 passengers a day, with most taking a bus first, but attracting the motorist from the car. The near $3 billion RAV/Canada Line has sucked huge sums of money from other just as important transit projects into a bloated politically prestigious subway that will do little in providing an attractive alternative to the car. If this is any indication of Michael Ignatieff’s way he will run the Liberal party and the government if elected, he will no different from past Liberal Prime Ministers and their questionable ethics and squander money on expensive, yet needless Liberal political monuments.
Michael Ignatieff puts a Liberal shine on the Canada LineLiberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is trying to have his party take credit for construction of the $2-billion Canada Line.
In a YouTube video, Ignatieff suggests that the project was former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin‘s vision.
Ignatieff also praises former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, now a Liberal senator, who relentlessly promoted the project. It probably wouldn’t have been approved by the TransLink board if Campbell and his then-COPE colleagues didn’t replace then-councillor Fred Bass on the board with councillor Raymond Louie.
Ignatieff obviously doesn’t know a great deal about the history of the Livable Region Strategic Plan, which was created while he was living abroad. Metro Vancouver regional planners wanted conventional light-rail to form a T connecting Coquitlam, New Westminster, and Vancouver.
It was a good plan and it was affordable. But senior levels of government intruded and insisted on a far more expensive SkyTrain-style Millennium Line and Canada Line. That has contributed to sharp increases in transit fares and property taxes, as well as the regional transportation authority’s grave financial woes.
Don’t expect Ignatieff or any other Liberal to fess up to this during the next federal election campaign.
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