A B.C. business group is asking the province to accelerate a number of infrastructure projects to help the economy bounce back, including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the SkyTrain extension to Langley.
The Business Council of B.C. included the recommendations in its Stronger Tomorrow document, which lays out a broad swathe of recommendations to deal with the economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the recommendations are contining to spend on roads, tunnels, and pipelines.
The council’s report recommends moving forward with the SkyTrain extension, the George Massey Tunnel replacement, and both the Trans Mountain expansion and the controversial Coastal GasLink Pipeline.
The Trans Mountain pipeline runs through Langley, and the long-term plan for the SkyTrain extension would see it reach downtown Langley City and connect with the Willowbrook shopping district via a route down Fraser Highway.
TransLink, which has been planning the SkyTrain line, has been facing dire financial issues due to a massive drop-off in ridership during the pandemic.
The report also suggests a speed-up in approvals for residential development, saying the province should “work with and, if necessary, compel municipalities” to move forward.
A section about reforming municipal government specifically recommends that the provincial government cabinet be given the power to override local governments when it comes to zoning issues.
The report also recommends slashing the PST in half for two years and replacing it with a new “value added tax.”