Is this Falcon really a new generation in leadership…or just another opportunistic crow? The SFPR and Gateway unplugged.

   No, really, it wasn’t actually my idea at all! Falcon  and his Tory friends came up with the whole Gateway thing right after I appointed him! ”

  ” He, he, he… I did, didn’t I? And everyone though that was your baby… he, he, he…”

One wonders when looking at Campbell and Falcon, if it could be by  sheer coincidence  only that the younger politician seems to have modelled himself after the older. Swap Kevin’s gelled, ever-changing shades of brown for the silver coif of Campbell, and they look remarkably similar. Seriously – imagine Falcon in 15 years ! ( he is older than most think – late 40’s )  However, physical attributes aside, it is the similarity of ramming projects and policy through without regard to anything else, that bothers me most about Kevin Falcon.

 He is well-known for his forceful manner of getting things done, but in my opinion, these are not always things that need to be done, or  should be done the way that Falcon dictates. Extensive research on the Sea to Sky highway shadow tolls, and the project in general has proved this to be true, as has evidence uncovered by my continuing investigations into other projects. (  future stories to come) His signature  and approval is on many, many documents that may come back to haunt him during his leadership bid.

Take for example, the South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is part of the very contentious Pacific Gateway initiative Falcon mentioned in his leadership bid press conference.

In 2005, Stephen Harper announced the Pacific Gateway Strategy, one of the most expensive and ambitious undertakings that centres around British Columbia’s proximity to Asia – China specifically – and the trade routes and transportation hubs we have along our coastline. Taking advantage of this link to China has been a huge project for the BC Liberal and Harper, with MLAs and MP’s travelling several times to China on trade missions to develop and foster business relationships.

 Enter the BC governments Gateway Program, which the government often tries to emphasize is  more about people and moving them around, than it is about moving goods and making money. Truth is, it is all about making money.  The funny thing is that  most of these projects never got the get-go until Kevin Falcon came onto the scene, and consequently signed a memorandum of understanding with Gordon Campbell, Stephen Harper, and David Emerson, accessible here in PDF format.*  PDF counts as five words ; )  Canada-BC-MOU . Gateway has been Falcon’s baby since day 1, and he is guaranteed to follow it through with this same forceful manner of leadership that may have been the hallmark of Campbell’s demise.

The only problem with this big plan of Falcon’s was that much of it was a public relations nightmare – and for good reason. The South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is going to move along the Fraser River in parts of Surrey and Delta, will run from the Port Mann to Deltaport, cutting through residential neighbourhoods with schools, and cutting across part of Burns Bog before moving across some of the most fertile farmland this country has to offer.

 It has been the subject of numerous protests over the last couple of years, with civil disobedience and now a legal battle has begun because the Burns Bog Conservation Society  filed a lawsuit against both the federal and provincial governments for violating the conservation covenant to protect Burns Bog. My wholehearted support is behind this venture, because the South Fraser Perimeter Road  is the wrong project, for the wrong reasons, at entirely the wrong time.

It really made me wonder what would make the BC Liberals move ahead with a project like this,considering all the environmental and economic issues plaguing this project. My earlier reports of significant scope changes to the project, based on information from inside sources earlier, was recently confirmed in the news. Not just any changes, but changes that are still extremely worrying to Delta staff and councillors, as well as MLA Vicki Huntingdon because not only will  the changes create a traffic nightmare, but also a very real safety issue for all drivers on the road.

Originally announced to be a swift moving, mainly truck traffic route with overpasses and interchanges to keep traffic moving, some of those have plans have been scrapped in favor of street light controlled intersections. The move was not a financial one, the government claims, but one based on traffic forecasts where the improvements can be made many years down the road…

All of this came after there had  already been a major change to the bidders during the bidding process, and the project budget was increased before signing in favour of what some may call environmental sucking up. I would also be remiss to  mention the very large drop in trade with China with the economy over the last couple of years, one that has been slow to recover with China’s trade policies.

Toss in the soon to open Panama Canal Expansion… well, why would someone send freight to Vancouver, and then truck it , or send it by rail across the country at great cost when you can ship it right through the newly widened canal and right back up the east coast ? Hmm? Yes, that’s right, Mr. Falcon, you have nothing to say about that, do you?

You see where I am going with this?

Even to the average person, one would wonder why a road that was billed to take container trucks off of residential streets is being built when the global economy has taken such a dive. Even today, stories are coming out that we are about to enter the second wave of recession with the recent developments in Ireland and other countries. Even banks that do global financing, as with the Sea to Sky highway financiers, are still taking hits. ( what the impact of these foreign banks troubles has on our foreign financed P3 projects is, is still unknown- that is another future story)

But wait, there is more to make you question this project if what I have said has not already made you scrunch your brows in confusion.

What if the government itself, as well as many agencies and organizations, felt that trucking was not the best way to move containers from ship to distributor? What if there was a way  that could take trucks off the road almost completely, or a very good proportion of them anyways?

What about Short Sea Shipping?  Pure and simple, this involves placing freight containers from cargo ships onto barges instead of trucks, and pulling them via tug boats up the Fraser river to destination of choice. Not a new concept by far, and one recognized by the ports, the government and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council as being both a viable and realistic alternative. According to some reports I have come across, there have even been investors ready to invest money into new facilities along the waterfront to receive the barged cargo.

The following confidential document is from 2007, and was produced by an organization called the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council. The brainchild of the federal government, it’s job would appear to be to study these Gateway issues and dictate how things are done, or should be done, in their opinion.  ( PDF format) gatewayvision

Page 16 details what would seem to be extraordinary advantages to container trucking, which would make one think the government would have been all over this – if it was indeed, acting in the best interests of the public. It openly states that moving cargo via this method would take a good percentage of trucks off the road, a win- win situation for all.

So intent have been Falcon and the stakeholders behind the Gateway Council to facilitate the Gateway Vision of 203o,  National Public Relations was hired to conduct extensive research with focus groups across the lower mainland to figure out which words to use to sell this Gateway plan, and which words and phrases to avoid! Maybe it’s just me, but if this vision is such a great idea, why does it need to be” sold” to the people of Greater Vancouver?

For example, easy to sell words  include: prosperity,mobility, future. Harder to sell words are:environment, sustainability, infrastructure. And words that are a firm RED highlighted STOP NEVER USE ?  Expansion and congestion.

 Take a look, again, in PDF format which allows you to see the entire  84 page document for it’s more than a little condescending manner of looking at the citizens it wishes to push this program on.  : GatewayCon

Now, let’s sum it all up on the South Fraser Perimeter Road. It is, without a doubt, an environmental NO-GO. The federal and provincial governments planned this route through the best farmland and the most sensitive ecological areas in the province. Container traffic is down, and not likely to ever recover to previous levels one the vastly expanded Panama Canal opens. The financing on this project was difficult,the project was downgraded into a stop and go, safety nightmare, and any reason for previously pushing this road seems to have evaporated. Now Bond is looking at it as an untolled alternative to the Port Mann, which is a far from realistic alternative for many motorists, merely transplanting congestion. 

So why is this project being built?

I suspect it has something to do with real estate, valuable commercial land and developments…

The Tsawwassen band used the South Fraser Perimeter Road as a selling point in this request for expressions of interest to develop industrial lands they now control near the ferries and Deltaport. It is billed as part of the lands being in a “strategic” location. Enter the term South Fraser Perimeter Road into the search box in this PDF file to see for yourself. Tsawwassen land projects   Nice to be able to say you have an allegedly dedicated highway for a selling point, no?

Here is another sales document that advertises 27 acres of prime industrial land on Tilbury island, and again, the South Fraser Perimeter road is billed as part of this properties strategic location. ( pdf) Tilburylanddevelopmentproperty

I’m sure this is only the beginning of a rush of land sales and development we might see along that route, development that may very well see further land taken from the ALR, or further harming the delicate and vitally important ecosystem of Burns Bog.

It has  also come to my attention that another route was offered up, one that went over stable land and was far less contentious, yet the government refused to consider it and went with the current plan. Why is that- are these land sales the real reason this road was built? Shades of Sea to Sky highway !!

This is, without a doubt, the wrong project in the wrong location, at the wrong time, and Falcon has been instrumental from day one in pushing this along, with the help of his friends in the federal government.

A scathing, and horrific excerpt to leave you with, from Stephen Rees’s blog link above, one that chills me to the bone:

…the Bog is the “lungs of the lower mainland,” the largest urban carbon sink in the North America, and vital to the survival of the world’s largest salmon run in the interconnected Fraser River.

…according to Environment Canada and the regional Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel’s under-publicized reports, the SFPR would essentially destroy Burns Bog.

 It would also increase mortality rates along the route–with seven Delta schools within a kilometer of the highway–force hundreds of North Deltans from their homes (many heritage), and steamroll over hundreds of acres of farmland.

..also learned of an alternate route to the SFPR, known as the Hoover/Naas proposal, that carries none of the above detrimental impacts because it follows an existing rail right-of-way removed from homes, schools and the Bog. This railway is already entirely owned by the the province.

The video also provides a summary of some shocking statements uncovered amongst the government’s environmental assessment application documents, such as this one, which suggests there could be an economic upside to people getting sick from increased air pollution:

With increased air pollution there can possibly be increased employment (e.g., in the health sector) because of the economic activity associated with correcting the results of its impacts.” (Government documents for SFPR: Technical Volume 16, pg. 39, 4.3.5 Employment)

Heard enough?  The  people of Surrey and North Delta need have been long fighting  for their quality of life. The Burns Bog Conservation Society is always in need of various forms of assistance,including donations. For more information please go to their site at :  


* Falcon is billing himself a “new generation in leadership”. One would do well to note that doesn’t mean a different style of leadership from Campbell, only a younger version who may be around a lot longer… for a great, in-depth look at Falcon, who is billed here as a rebel with a cause… read this article quickly, before it disappears, like these kind of links occasionally do…lol..

25 thoughts on “Is this Falcon really a new generation in leadership…or just another opportunistic crow? The SFPR and Gateway unplugged.

  1. I am disappointed to see this,and you are completely wrong about this fine man.He is nothing like Gordon at all,he is a family man and cares deeply about how to get the right thing done,no matter what.He may have made mistakes here and there,but his heart is in the right place.Shame,Shame on you for comparing him to a crow.


  2. anonymous 10.40 am

    Same old – same old. BC Liberals wouldn’t know the meaning of reasonable, fair, honest or accurate.
    Unfortunately – but probably right, Falcon is tarred with the same brush as all of the other dishonest BC Liberal ministers – sorry ex ministers – with the exclusion of Bill Bennet and Blair Lekstrom – who had the courage to say what they ment and act on it.

    There seems to be no one slse of that calibre in the BC Liberal party that I am aware of.

    Seems like you are a PAB troll or muck raker of no real consequence.



  3. Anonymous, everyone is entitled to their opinion, you are no exception.Perhaps on a personal level with his friends and family that may be true, however, my research into many of Falcons projects would cause me to disagree with his motivations for getting the” right thing” done for the province.

    I certainly will be providing many more examples of his leadership style that are frighteningly similar to Campbell. It may be to his detriment that he has spent so much time beside the soon to be departing premier.

    John, I have sent a request for Falcon’s stance on that issue through his new website and will post the reply should one arrive.

    Workforfun, nice to see you! Keep up the hard work!

    In response to a few emails asking if I am going to write about what is going on with the NDP and where I stand, please check out my comments in this link, which explains everything. I don’t there is a need to repost those statements here.


  4. John’s Aghast,
    What’s his position on a Public Inquiry (on BC Rail)?
    What ever gives him the best chance of be selected – doesn’t matter as he will not call for an inquiry once selected.

    For me there a couple things about Kevin that render him totally unacceptable as a leader in my opinion.
    In the late 1990’s he attempted to orchestrate a massive recall campaign against sitting members of the NDP simply because they were NDP. This was a purely political attempt to overturn the previous election as a comparison the current recall campaigns are across party lines despite what the first out the block Ida Chong claims (with the support of Big media)
    The second time was his statement regarding an incident on Canada Day 2008. When because of a combination of events both the Iron Workers Memorial bridge and the Lions Gate Bridge were closed yes it inconvenienced many people including Kevin who had visitors from California. Apparently having visitors and himself being inconvenienced with a clogged highway was a significant embarrassment for the then Minister of Highways. According to compassionate Kevin the police should not have closed the Iron Workers Bridge while they were trying to save a distraught woman’s life, presumably he would have encouraged the woman to jump had he had the opportunity.
    We do not need a premier that is as willing as Kevin is to descend into playing political games or demonstrates the extent of lack of compassion and understanding that Kevin does,
    So far the only cabinet minister that has demonstrated his fitness for the job is Rich Coleman who surprisingly has enough sense to not want to run fore it.


  5. This from Sean Holman:
    It’s also how things are done in Xanadu
    May 17, 2006
    Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has a reputation for being one of the staunchest conservatives in the provincial Liberal caucus. But perhaps he’s not as different from the socialist New Democrats as some may think. On Friday, while delivering a speech to the Lower Mainland Municipal Association’s annual general meeting, Minister Falcon spoke about a 32 kilometre bridge that was recently built to connect mainland China to a new, island-based deep water port.

    Joked the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA, “No one there ever questions the need to build infrastructure like this. Now, granted, China has a bit of a different governance structure. But, in many ways, it is the ideal governance structure.”

    As the room broke into laughter, Minister Falcon added, “China really has the ultimate Kevin Falcon government structure” – which got even more guffaws from the audience. He then wryly noted that, the Chinese “don’t have the labour or environmental restrictions we do. It’s not like they have to do community consultations. They just say ‘we’re building a bridge’ and they move everyone out of there and get going within two weeks. Could you imagine if we could build like that?”

    Minister Falcon subsequently confirmed those quotes in an interview with Public Eye.


  6. When I read his closing statement,

    “Still, every time I ask him what more he’d like to accomplish with his political career – say, become premier someday – he answers the same: “The attractive thing for me would just be what could be accomplished.” And when I ask repeatedly what he’d like to accomplish, it’s all about less government. “One of the things I’ve always fought for and believe in is the average working man or woman out there” – the Freds and Marys, he calls them – “who’s earning $40,000 to $50,000 and is just struggling to make ends meet. One of the things we have to be relentlessly driving toward is reducing the load of government on them.”

    …it sent a chill of cold fear down my spine. His political heroes are Reagan and Thatcher! As for Coleman, over my dead body!


  7. After nine years of political, evironmentel and fiscal mayhem – then Campbell quits citing his unpopularity – duh !!! Even tries to hide behind his family – Duh!

    Is Falcon any different – joking about politically explosive Chinese government policies in that manner, sure seems like a “Campbellite” clown to me. We don’t need another Pinocchio floundering lost at the helm!

    Let’s just kick the BC Lie-beral retards out and even a coalition government of other parties, would be infinitely better in my opinion.



  8. Norm,
    Unfortunately, I believe you’re right . But who could and who would have the authority to implement an investigation?
    If, as Laila asserts, the Burns Bog Conservation Society can file a lawsuit against both governments for violating the conseration covenant to protect Burns Bog can not a group (say the BC Rail Protection Society) file a lawsuit against the government for violating the premise of open and honest governance. I know, I’m grasping.


  9. John’s Aghast
    We can be sure the leadership candidates will sauy anything they think will get them elected and then take a page (actually a whole volume) out of Campbell’s book and go back on their word.
    Who could investigate the BCR, not sure but, a a guess a guess it might be possible to file a civil suit against individuals involved. Probably to get around the 2 year limitation it may be necessary to base the claim on evidence given during the trial. the only catch is it would almost certainly take deep pockets to fund the people’s side.
    The other possibility is new criminal charges filed with the sheriff. Not clear on this process but as I understand it it a citizen can file an action with the provincial sheriffs office requiring charges to be laid. (this method would have the government paying for the prosecution and may be the only way to avoid the need for deep pockets)


  10. I thank you for posting this story,and am sending this around.It is nice to see the many different bad angles to this project,rather than just the environmental,or just the money side.For me I think it is both reasons that I am not in support.Too many times we have had this man not be honest with us on other projects,by not telling details of these secret agreements.How can a government be so secret in Canada?I do not know this,but I am happy there is you to tell these stories to us.


  11. Funny,they do look alike and I never noticed that before.Kinda scary.Plus I never knew Falcon was a Tory,so a vote for him is like a vote for Harper??I don’t think a lot of people understand that provincial politicians can belong to a different party federally.Harper gets his little agenda accomplished through the Falconator if he gets to be premier.


  12. How about De Jong? His vile miscarriage of justice of, Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR? I was in disbelief he had the utter gall to run. I don’t have one lick of respect for any of them. The BC ministers and the mla’s, all supported the monster Campbell, to the hilt. How evil is this? BC teachers are saying, our BC children are so hungry, they can’t even focus on their studies? All of a sudden, there is conversation about, raising the minimum wage, why? That s.o.b. Campbell, refused to, for nine years. Where were the ministers and the mla’s then? There should have been multiple recalls done, to kick this evil BC Liberal government, right off the planet. Many of we BC people, had asked for that. To be, totally rid of this BC Liberal government. I would ask the people, to read Rafe Mair’s Common Sense Canadian, of the Bute Inlet’s, huge hydro project. The First Nations People are in another battle AGAIN, with Campbell, they do not want, the Endbridge pipeline crossing their, rivers, streams and land. The absolutely do not want, China’s dirty oil tankers in their seas. Campbell did say, he would be still here for some months. He also said, he would continue his work. And indeed he has, and it’s all dirty work, as usual. Campbell is too full of hate, spite, malice and far too vindictive to, just quit. He will destroy everything he can, before he is forced to go.


  13. If ‘these people’ put half the energy towards governing as they do towards stealing, bickering,
    blaming and ass covering then we might not be in the sorry state that we are today.
    Can you really believe anything constuctive has happened in Victoria in the last twelve months? Can you imagine anything MORE destructive than what happened in the previous eight years?
    Where do those ‘Railgate’ personalities get the audacity to throw their hats in the ring? Do they think we’re all stupid? Don’t answer that!


  14. Am I right in thinking, Prince Rupert Port was expanded to be, the gateway for huge ships from China? I’m sure, I heard this quite some years ago. Prince Rupert, is also a CNR rail head as well. I thought the CNR would carry the oil to Prince Rupert, and the huge tankers from China, would pick up the oil there? But, they want to send the tanker ships to the Port of Kitimat now. Was this a switch in plans, from Prince Rupert to Kitimat, to pick up the oil?


  15. Of course everything is about real estate speculation with the Marathon Man ( Gordo’s training ground Marathon Realty – alienating railroad grants for private profit) and his gang of merry thieves. And they don’t give a rat’s ass if it is in the public interest or even economically viable as long as the “RIGHT PEOPLE” profit from the scam!


  16. Another roadie post. Good!

    Laila said:

    “It has also come to my attention that another route was offered up, one that went over stable land and was far less contentious, yet the government refused to consider it and went with the current plan.”

    Now I’ll chime in. Mcelhanney.Engineering identified 3 freeway corridors connecting Hwy 99 to Hwy 1 over 10 years ago. (They had an online map but it’s seems to have been vaporized from

    Those 3 east-west freeway corridors, connecting Hwy 99 and Hwy 1, are known as:

    1. SFPR expressway corridor;
    2. Serpentine freeway corridor;
    3. Southern freeway corridor;

    1. SFPR expressway corridor:

    Is much closer to major regional traffic flows and connects major traffic nodes such as:
    a) Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal;
    b) Roberts Bank Superport;
    c)Tilbury Industrial Park;
    d) Fraser Surrey Docks;
    e) Pattullo industrial brownfields;
    f) CN intermodal yard;
    g) Golden Ears Bridge connector;

    Originally conceived as an “expressway standard” highway – that is, mostly interchanges/overpasses with some signalized intersections, which can be converted to interchanges when traffic warrants.

    Recent scope changes have included another 3 signalized intersections.

    In the end, 5 signalized intersections over 40 km is not that bad. Remember the original signalized intersection at the north end of the Alex Fraser Bridge where Hwy 91 and Hwy 91A converged?

    2. Serpentine Freeway corridor:

    a) Much further south than SFPR corridor;
    b) Would also connect Hwy 99 and Hwy 1;
    c) Would not have any major traffic/commercial nodes along route (unlike SFPR);
    d) Would have considerably less commercial traffic and more commuter traffic;
    e) Would commence near Serpentine River overpass of Hwy 99, head eastward along Serpentine River alignment, head northward crossing Hwy 10 between 152nd and 168th, traverse golf course, cross Hwy 15 near Fraser Hwy, roughly follow Harvie Rd. corridor, and junction with Hwy 1 near 200th St;
    f) Would also consume considerable class 1 and 2 ALR land;
    f) Opposed by City of Surrey;
    (the alternative route that Laila mentioned)

    3. Southern Freeway Corridor:

    a) Much further south than both the SFPR and the Serpentine corridor;
    b)Would take westbound regional Hwy 1 traffic away much earlier toward Hwy 99 corridor;
    c) Part of City of Surrey Transportation Plan and supported by city.
    d) Commences at King George Blvd. interchange with Hwy 99, traverses eastward to about 192nd, jogs southward to 192nd, and heads eastward along 16th Ave. corridor to meet up with Hwy 1 near the Abbotsford International Airport;
    e) Would also consume ALR land but mostly class 4,5,6 lands;
    f) Would skirt Campbell Heights Business/Industrial Park with anticipated employment node of over 20,000 over the next 30 years;
    g) Will act as relieve valve for heavily congested 16th Ave.;
    h) Will also be part of future Hwy 99 upgrades know as the “H99 project”, likely to be commenced in the year 2030 time frame;

    Laila, my usual 2 cents. 😀


  17. Re:By anonymous on December 3, 2010 at 10:40 am
    I’m sure most thieves have good intentions.
    The Kevster is a gordie clone.close your eyes and one would dejong sounds like gordie.I don’t even want to hazard a guess about mary polak.
    Thick as thieves, that lot.
    Or is it that lot is thick with thieves?


  18. Todd, your kind of two cents is always appreciated…

    ” Originally conceived as an “expressway standard” highway – that is, mostly interchanges/overpasses with some signalized intersections, which can be converted to interchanges when traffic warrants.

    Recent scope changes have included another 3 signalized intersections ”

    So, there are now 5 intersections on what has been billed as a truck route?Gee, does that have anything to do with the drop in Port traffic that is not picking up like previously thought?

    Todd, I’m not against upgrading infrastructure like roads and bridges- a lot of what we have is old and not working ie, the Patullo, but I’m not sure what the purpose of buiding this road is when the economic future for our ports is highly questionable?? You thoughts on that would be good to hear.

    Bang on Lynn, bang on. You can stick another face, and a new brand of advertising on it… but this is an example of same stuff, different pile…lol.


  19. Laila
    I too have asked myself the question why some of the latest road projects are being undertaken in the lower mainland. I suspect the traffic volumes today are close to the peak and will soon be reducing. Soon the perimeter road and Port Man bridge will be under utilised. The only explanation I can think of comes out of the “conspiracy theory Camp”, for many years now I have been hearing rumours that the lower mainland is to become an economic free zone where taxes, environmental standards and workplace safety with “world trade goods funneled through the ports, as well as wages are to be driven down.
    Have nothing to say this is the case but it certainly fits the Campbell/Harper agenda and is the only explanation that makes sense also explains why there was such interest in major companies acquiring BCRail.


  20. Glenn, sounds feasible, and you know what? With what I have come across in research ,and what others send me, nothing would surprise me at this point. Nothing at all.

    Falcon will privatise everything.


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