By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
October 5th, 2014
Kudos to Province columnist Michael Smyth; bravo for CTV Vancouver’s “Sinjin” Alexander; applause for The National Post; and, yes, even hurrah for CBC in Ottawa!
They have FINALLY picked up on the INJUSTICE I blogged about in May on how the federal NDP wants the rest of Canada to PAY for a new Champlain Bridge across the St. Lawrence River AND assume total operating costs, so drivers there don’t have to pay any tolls …the way WE do for our new bridges: HERE
The issue should OUTRAGE all Canadians outside Quebec!
The only GOOD thing about it is it EXPOSES PERFECTLY how … despite all the platitudes they spew when they are out here … the TRUE loyalties and priorities of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair lie with Quebec … and he wants US to pay for spoiling that province … once again.
The pandering goes back to the early 1960s, when the federal government, gifted to Montreal and Quebec (Surprised?) a new six-lane bridge across the St. Lawrence, linking downtown to the South Shore. (British Columbians could only dream of such generosity …then OR now!)
There’s now a plan to replace the structure by 2018 at an estimated cost of $3 Billion to $5 Billion (which probably means $10 Billion by the time it’s done).
And the Tory government in Ottawa … once more … is willing to pay THE ENTIRE COST of building the new structure!!!
But even that’s not good enough for Mulcair: he opposes the federal government’s insistence on tolls to cover the cost of maintaining/operating the structure … anywhere from $1.40 to $2.60 per car. (There was a toll on the bridge until 1990 ..when Ottawa removed it.)
No toll! Says Mulcair.
Let the federal government (that all of YOU, coast to coast) pay the entire costs of building, maintaining and operating the Champlain Bridge.
(Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau earlier this year had also questioned the idea of tolls on the bridge … but lately has avoided making a firm commitment. HE should be pushed on this!)
Meanwhile, Mulcair makes no apologies to rest-of-Canada taxpayers: he has been openly vocal in demanding the outrageous lifelong gift to his home province.
“The Champlain Bridge is the most important bridge in Canada,” he has argued.
“It doesn’t have a toll now and there’s absolutely no reason not to rebuild a bridge without a toll,” the Opposition Leader pontificated.
Think about that when you’re crossing the Port Mann or Lion’s Gate: YOUR bridges are not as important to the “nation” as is Montrealers’ Champlain. A VERY strange position, made all the more ridiculous by the fact the Port Mann IS part of the Trans-Canada highway system!
Yet, according to Smyth in The Province , the $3.5 Billion Port Mann Bridge was built WITHOUT federal funding.
And Alexander on CTV News at Six caught Mulcair …speaking in French … make this categorical promise: “Under the NDP, there will be NO tolls on the Champlain Bridge… period!”
I guess Mulcair also conveniently forgot the NDP’s federal POLICY regarding both reducing carbon emissions and having those who create them offset the costs . Ooops!
What a hypocrite …when it comes to buying votes in Quebec!
And the only thing that’s even worse? How NDP MPs and party supporters in the rest of Canada are staying so silent about this duplicity, hypocrisy and outright disgraceful and unethical stance by Mulcair and the federal NDP …which, as I said, I revealed last May.
But the good news is the media is now waking up to how the NDP (and likely the Liberals too) are willing to sacrifice US out West for votes in Quebec.