Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says a BC Liberal government will immediately start work on renewing construction on a 10-lane bridge to replace the aging Massey Tunnel.
The previous Liberal government promised in 2013 to build a bridge, but the project was cancelled after the NDP came into power in 2017.
Wilkinson says the previous government did 13,000 pages of consultation and the Liberals will not do any additional consultation to resume the project. The Liberals say the full environmental consultation has been done.
“It will be a project that has already been approved. We will carry on with the project that has already been approved,” Wilkinson said.
“For three years the NDP has intentionally stalled the replacement to the George Massey because they don’t care about families on either side of the Fraser River.”
The original plan was to toll the bridge to help pay for the costs. But Wilkinson says this project will not have any tolls.
The cost of restarting and finishing the project is unknown. Wilkinson is committing to whatever it takes to get the construction done.
“The Massey Tunnel replacement will not be cheap. Let’s be clear. We had a $2.6 billion project that had already started and now the bill is going to be higher,” Wilkinson said.
“Instead the NDP cancelled the deal and we will have to sort out the price. It is going to be higher. But it is going to be worth it.”
The Liberals are also announcing they would scrap the Community Benefits Agreements put in place by the NDP. The CBAs require workers on provincial projects to join an approved union. The building contracts also ensure apprentices and workers from diverse groups including female and Indigenous workers.
The Liberal promise also includes $8 billion over three years to the party’s Rebuild B.C. plan to build more schools, hospitals, transit and roads.