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Delta-Richmond & Vancouver-Burnaby chapters protest Massey Bridge climate crime

Wilander and Doherty at last night’s protest against the proposed Massey Bridge.

The Council of Canadians Delta-Richmond and Vancouver-Burnaby chapters protested against the proposed Massey Bridge last night. They gathered with the Wilderness Committee and other allies outside an open house in Richmond hosted by the British Columbia government, which is backing the bridge proposal.

The chapters are opposed to the plan to replace the 4-lane George Massey Tunnel with the 10-lane Massey Bridge. Their concerns include the loss of prime agricultural land to build the bridge, the additional greenhouse gas emissions that come with adding more space for cars, the government’s lack of commitment to public transit alternatives, and the bridge’s $3.5 billion price tag. They are also concerned that the proposed removal of the George Massey Tunnel could affect the salinity of the lower Fraser River.

The Facebook outreach for the protest highlighted, “In an era of climate change it is the pinnacle of stupidity to be building more highways. Yet the Province of BC is speeding towards a 10 lane bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel. We need to tell our leaders that any money spent expanding highways is a waste that will fuel climate change! We need transit, not projects that encourage even more traffic! Join us outside the government’s open house in Richmond to tell the government to look at climate impacts and transit alternatives instead!”

And Vancouver-Burnaby chapter activist Eric Doherty has written, “The federal Liberals ‘historic infrastructure plan’ acknowledges that infrastructure will need to be beefed up to deal with climate impacts such as flooding from more intense storms and rising sea levels. But when it comes to reducing the carbon pollution that threatens everything humans value, the plan is silent. And that leaves open a big door to provincial, municipal and regional governments getting billions in federal funds for projects that make the climate crisis worse. …Every dollar of public money spent on roadway expansion is a dollar spent to sabotage the Paris Climate agreement, and to push humanity towards truly catastrophic global warming. Let’s help Justin succeed in this tough work, by demanding that not one dollar of public infrastructure money go to increase carbon pollution.”

To read more of Doherty’s analysis, please see his Will Trudeau’s infrastructure plan worsen the climate crisis? blog on rabble.ca.

A news report by the Province on last night’s open house can also be read here.

These two Vancouver-area chapters have been opposing the Massey Bridge for several years now.

In 2013, Delta-Richmond chapter activist Cathy Wilander stated, “We need to make transit an accessible and convenient mode of commuting instead of spending our public money replacing the tunnel. We have to get people out of their cars. This is particularly relevant to our community as global warming from carbon emissions is here and our community, a flood plain, is particularity vulnerable to rising sea levels.” And Doherty noted at that time, “We must stop spending public money on making the climate crisis worse, and shift the money to solutions like public transit and electric trains. It’s time for all concerned people to take a stand against these freeway projects that are cooking our planet.”

The Delta-Richmond chapter will be protesting again tonight (Jan. 27) at another BC government open house in Delta on the proposed bridge.

Further reading
Delta/Richmond chapter opposes removal of George Massey Tunnel under the Fraser River (Dec. 2, 2015)
Delta/Richmond chapter to picket Ministry of Highways open house (March 14, 2013)