From my new post headlined over at HuffPost BC :
“The Port Mann Bridge project has been steeped in controversy from its humble beginnings as an economically prudent plan to twin the existing bridge at a cost of $1.5 billion to what we’ve ended up with today: a completely new bridge and highway project totaling $3.3 billion financed through tolls.
Wednesday’s announcement by newbie B.C. Transportation Minister Mary Polak that the tolls on the Port Mann will be reduced for a period of time with incentives — call now and the next five people get a free Shamwow — is no less controversial than the project itself for one very good reason.
Mary Polak is of course a Liberal MLA in Langley facing an election in 2013, along with MLA Rich Coleman and likely Surrey MLA Stephanie Cadieux. Each has confirmed they intend to run again to the press and it’s very apparent to everyone (except Mike Klassen apparently) that the Liberal brand has been all but blown up by the disingenuous Christy Clark. Quite frankly, these MLAs are going to need every bit of help they can get.
The question is, will a reduction in tolls make any difference at all to hardened voters weary of the endless stream of politicking from Clark, the second most unpopular premier in Canada? I don’t think so, and this is why. The Liberals are using the old bait and switch trick, one they’ve perfected over the last 10 years. Sure we get a discount at first, but eventually we’re all going to be paying — for the rest of our lives quite frankly…”