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Feds pledge $1.3B to finish Langley SkyTrain extension, funding to plan UBC extension

Click to play video: 'Trudeau promises federal funds for two SkyTrain extensions' Trudeau promises federal funds for two SkyTrain extensions
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will kick in $1.3-billion to fund a 16 kilometre SkyTrain extension, and more money to cover up to 40% of the planning work to extend the line to UBC. Richard Zussman reports why these promises are another sign an election call may be looming – Jul 9, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced federal funding for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project.

Speaking in Surrey, B.C. on Friday, Trudeau said the federal government will provide up to $1.3 billion for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain extension.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau makes federal funding announcement for Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project' Trudeau makes federal funding announcement for Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project
Trudeau makes federal funding announcement for Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project – Jul 9, 2021

This includes an elevated extension of 16 kilometres and eight stations.

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“This will cut commute times and make your lives easier,” Trudeau said.

Read more: Majority support SkyTrain to UBC if school helps to pay for extension: poll

Langley Mayor Val van den Broek said due to this project they expect “more than 25,000,000 active transportation trips by 2025.”

However, the leader of Canada’s Conservatives said in a release that the Trudeau Liberals failed to deliver on their 2019 promise.

“British Columbians have been fighting for this SkyTrain expansion and ignored by the Liberals,” Erin O’Toole said. “Justin Trudeau has failed to deliver for British Columbians for two years.”

He is pledging that a Conservative government will partner with the province and municipalities to ensure that this project will be completed by 2025.

In addition to that transportation project announced Friday, Trudeau also said the federal government will invest up to 40 per cent for the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC.

Click to play video: 'Funding for UBC SkyTrain extension planning announced' Funding for UBC SkyTrain extension planning announced
Funding for UBC SkyTrain extension planning announced – Jul 9, 2021

Under the currently approved and funded Phase Two of TransLink’s 10-Year Vision, the Broadway subway would only extend to Arbutus Street.

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According to TransLink’s report in 2019, extending the line from Arbutus Street to UBC would cost between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion. That number is likely much higher now.

No level of government has committed funding for the actual construction of an extension from Arbutus Street to UBC at this time.

In January, three Lower Mainland First Nations, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the City of Vancouver signed an agreement to work together in seeking funding for this extension.

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Ottawa and B.C. ink deal for a $10-a-day childcare – Jul 8, 2021

Trudeau has been in B.C. for two days making announcements ahead of what many think will be a federal election in the fall.

He said this was a second big day of announcements for British Columbians, following the news about $10 a day child care on Thursday.

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Joining Trudeau was Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, British Columbia Premier John Horgan, British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming, British Columbia Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Langley Mayor Val van den Broek, and TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo.

This federal funding was the third piece of the project needed. Provincial and TransLink portions of the SkyTrain project have already been committed.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa stopping trains through parts of B.C. during wildfire season' Ottawa stopping trains through parts of B.C. during wildfire season
Ottawa stopping trains through parts of B.C. during wildfire season – Jul 9, 2021

Read more: ‘We’re just waiting’: Federal cash still needed to finish SkyTrain to Langley

Current funding for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion will only take the line six stops from King George Station to 166th Street in Surrey’s Fleetwood neighbourhood.

van den Broek said in June the final piece of the puzzle to get the trains out to 203 Street in her city is a funding commitment from the federal government.

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