*** reaction to this launch here: http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/contrary-to-what-the-premier-and-the-transportation-minister-say-the-public-is-not-behind-the-government-on-this-contentious-issue/
( Although you would never know it, by the lack of coverage on the evening news tonight, or in the major local papers online. Oddly enough, a reporter with CTV had both the Premier and the Prime Minister comment on the 2010 olympic village fiasco, and failed to show the SFPR story in any part. )
Despite the opposition of environmental groups, residents and business alike, the Prime Minister officially launched construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road today in Surrey at the Fraser Port. ( Interesting how this all has occurred right at the height of the 2010 Olympic village nonsense- but I’m sure that has nothing to do with the timing) .
The press moment had been kept under wraps, however, was leaked to certain individuals in the public last night by an internal source, allowing for protesters to make it to the fence outside . The Prime Minister was joined by Premier Gordon Campbell and International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, and it was clear that the Prime Minister seemed pleased at the speed of which construction has begun.
” The South Fraser Perimeter Road is a concrete example of how two levels of government are working together to take the steps needed to protect Canada’s economy today and strengthen its foundations for the future,” he said. ” I am pleased that both levels of government were able to finalize an agreement this fall and, soon after, get shovels in the ground.”
Gordon Campbell used the moment to emphasize how the project will assist in job creation. “The South Fraser Perimeter Road Project will create an estimated 7,000 new jobs by 2021 and will build B.C.’s economic competitiveness by streamlining the movement of goods and people and ensuring we can tap into the trade opportunities with the Asia-Pacific “.
Sure. It’s all about the jobs….
There was much speculation about who will be running this project and H.W. Lochner, a large American firm that is a nationally-recognized authority in surface transportation infrastructure and related services seems to be the name popping up most often. From planning and consultation to implementation, they are definitely a realistic bet to get the job done.
Of course, despite the repetitive billing that the SFPR will improve traffic safety and travel for families as well as business in the GVRD, the bottom line remains the ease at which goods will flow from port to rail, and trucking facilities to industrial yards. Construction has been rammed through despite the concerns of how this will impact the ecologically sensitive Burns Bog area, as well as the quality of life for students and residents whose homes and schools parallel the route of construction.
Stay tuned for more commentary from the most vocal protesters of this project shortly.