George Massey Tunnel connecting Richmond and North Delta is the biggest traffic bottleneck in Metro Vancouver. (North Delta Reporter)

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

B.C.’s agreement with the B.C. Green Party shows that minority governments can be stable and effective, Finance Minister Carole James said in the wake of the federal election.

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won more than 150 seats Monday to secure a minority government, he needs support of one or more other parties to pass legislation. The federal NDP were reduced to 25 seats, but that still leaves them enough to provide majority votes if they cooperate with the Liberals on issues they agree on.

James was asked Tuesday about the prospects for federal support on extending SkyTrain in Surrey, and constructing an eight-lane replacement for the four-land George Massey Tunnel connecting Richmond and Delta.

“I think it will be some time, but we also have the opportunity, if the governing party is going to work together with New Democrats,” James said. “We know the values of child care, we know the values of green transportation, and the opportunities that provides for us to address our issues around climate, are commonalities there.”

The SkyTrain project took an unexpected turn when Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum won election on a promise to replace a surface light rail extension with elevated SkyTrain technology to match the rest of the Metro Vancouver system. Federal and B.C. governments have committed $1.6 billion to extend the system towards Langley, but switching to SkyTrain adds considerably to the costs.

RELATED: Trudeau won, but not a majority. What comes next?

RELATED: More federal funds needed for Skytrain extension

The B.C. NDP government scrapped the B.C. Liberal plan for a 10-lane bridge to replace the Massey tunnel, and Metro politicians have since come together to support an eight-lane replacement tunnel instead. That requires federal fisheries permits to dredge the river bottom so tunnel sections can be floated out and put in place, a process that could put the replacement up to 10 years away. The price tag is also up in the air for a project that would require federal and provincial financing.

After being involved in the 2017 negotiations with the B.C. Green Party for a minority government, James said the task facing the Liberal minority is a delicate one.

“It will be a long week, a long couple of weeks, that’s what I also remember,” James said. “People often say minority governments have a short shelf life. I think we’ve proven here in British Columbia that when you work together, and when you focus on the people of the province, you can get great things done.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Olatoke sets new Spartans record in Edmonton

Langley-based university off to a good start at Golden Bear Open

Critter Care calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

LETTER: Langley man suggests seniors deserve more from taxpayers

Seniors who rely on CPP and Old Age Allowance are stretched

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

VIDEO: Contest winner pays it forward in Langley

Jan Janzen will share her $200 prize with the food bank, homeless shelter, and grandkids

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowly landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Coquihalla, Highway 3 to be hit with freezing rain, sparking warning to commuters

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Most Read