Today, I would like to address the issue of transit along the Broadway corridor.
As we all know, Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver colleagues are promoting a subway down Broadway out to UBC. That’s pretty much all we hear from them these days — let’s build a subway down Broadway, the developers want it and we want it, and we don’t care that there’s no money that’s been committed by either the federal or provincial government to a subway.
I believe the idea of subway to be a ridiculously expensive one — over $4 billion at last count — and certainly not the best solution to address the problem of taking UBC students, faculty and staff to and from the university.
Now, let’s talk about the Non-Partisan Association, the NPA.
At the beginning of the current election campaign, NPA Mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe’s position on a subway down Broadway was to take a wait-and-see attitude with statements to the effect of “We’ve got to consult with the public on what best serves the people of Vancouver before taking a decision on transit down the Broadway corridor.”
But in the past week, Vision Vancouver pushed Kirk LaPointe into changing his position on the subway. Now, Mr. LaPointe is saying that a subway is necessary, he’s in favour, he’s always been in favour.
Mr. LaPointe has allowed himself to be bullied by Vision Vancouver. In politics, we call that flip flopping.
If Kirk LaPointe is bullied so easily into flip-flopping on an important issue for Vancouverites, that of intelligent transportation, what will his response be to developer bullies themselves?
The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) has a long track record in defending community interests, as it is funded by and accountable to Vancouverites — not developers.
Unlike, the NPA’s Kirk LaPointe and his NPA colleagues, you won’t see COPE flip flopping on the issue of transit.
In part it reads: “COPE will pursue lower-cost, more flexible bus or light rail transit service enhancements, especially along the Broadway corridor, in preference to high-cost, long-delayed, and inappropriate subway-based systems, (and) will ensure public consultation and transparent planning for all major projects.”
The cost of underground Skytrain Commercial Drive to UBC is equivalent to at-grade train transit on every major street in Vancouver.
Voters have a choice to make in November about what kind of city we want going forward.
Do you want a city controlled by developers? This is what both Vision Vancouver and the NPA are offering you. Or, do you want a city that values authentic community-based decisionmaking? If so, vote COPE.