Federal NDP/Libs Want BC/West to Pay for Quebec Bridge(s) … While BC Media Snoozes
By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
May 22nd, 2014
OK … I admit it: on this one, I WISH I was still working. And I almost feel I should apologize to British Columbians/Western Canadians for being retired.
There is a TERRIFIC story taking place back East … one which shows CLEARLY how Quebec is getting a hugely generous $5 BILLION federal financial infrastructure handout … the TOTAL COST of building a new multi-lane Champlain Bridge across the St. Lawrence River in Montreal … something NEVER even dreamt of by BC in rebuilding the Port Mann Bridge.
And the story gets even better …or worse …depending on your sense of fairness and justice: the federal NDP and Liberals want YOU to pay for that bridge (and any others built across the St. Lawrence at Montreal) out of federal taxes and budgets … and are FIGHTING the Tory government’s plan to recoup even part of the costs from bridge users through tolls.
Now think about that.
Quebeckers represent 24 per cent of Canada’s population and if you generously extrapolate that to a percentage of federal tax contributions (I say generously, because as a “have-not” province, Quebec likely contributes LESS than 24% ), that means 76 per cent of federal tax revenues derive from the rest of Canada.
In other words, 76 per cent of the $5 Billion cost of the new Champlain Bridge (plus overruns that are almost guaranteed!) will be paid by taxpayers in other provinces.
So British Columbians, for example, through taxes and tolls must pay for not only their own Port Mann Bridge, the Golden Ears Bridge and any new Patullo or Deas Tunnel/Bridges … but, if the federal NDP and Liberals get their way … the multi-billion-dollar Champlain Bridge in Quebec as well!
What a series of stories I would do if I was still working … probing the following facts and asking lots of questions!
* Under WHAT p0licies/agreements does the federal government PAY to build the TOTAL cost of bridges in Quebec, but NOT in BC?
* How much did the federal government contribute, if anything, as a percentage to construction costs of the Golden Ears, the Port Mann and promised for the Deas Island/Patullo crossings?
* Why are BC’s federal NDP and Liberal MPs not screaming like hell about this?
* Do BC’s federal NDP and Liberal support their party’s stated position that federal taxpayers pay the TOTAL COST of the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal WITHOUT any tolls?
* What does the BC government, Metro Vancouver, Translink …and any other agency I could find … think about this federal policy and the added burden it places on BC and other Canadian taxpayers?
* And, my favorite, what do the PEOPLE think of all this?????
I’m sure I could have kept this story going for weeks …at least … and hopefully have led to a change in federal policy by both the government and also the opposition parties.
But AT LEAST I would have exposed this injustice for all out here to see … and understand.
But sadly, there has been almost no local news coverage of this disgraceful federal discriminatory policy and the betrayal of BC by the federal NDP and Liberals.
The best mention I heard of the matter was actually when radio host Michael Smyth and panelists Norman Spector and Michael Byers discussed it on CKNW’s Monday Morning Quarterbacks last Monday. You can listen to that in NW’s radio archive, May 19 at 10:30 a.m. (click here).
It will get your blood pressure going …. and maybe even motivate you to call your local MP (and also your local media outlets) to express your disgust at yet another betrayal of BC and the West to garner favour … and votes … in Quebec.
By buying them …with YOUR money.