Thursday, June 11, 2009

Goodbye Kevin

Well, we have a new Minster of Transportation. Her name is Shirley Bond and she comes from Prince George. It will be interesting to see what perspective she will bring to the whole issue of sustainable transportation in Metro Vancouver. Being born and raised in the Okanagan myself, I can tell you that the Interior and Northern BC’s transportation issues are very different than the issues in Metro Vancouver. One thing I noticed when I first moved to Metro Vancouver was the condition of the roads and infrastructure in general. It was all very shinny and in great shape. Most other parts of the province have to deal with road and infrastructure that are in less than ideal shape. I remember when the province got out of the rural road maintenance business in the 1990’s. Some road where basically turning into gravel. And then there was the experiment of not paving roads, but seal coating them. Anyway, I digress... The point is roads in the Interior are in need of some basic maintenance.

Areas like Kelowna need major investment in public transportation. Kelowna area has over 160,000 people and an aging population. How about a streetcar from Orchard Park Mall thru Downtown to the Mission? Was Shirley appointed to give the appearance of a voice from “the rest of the province” for transportation and infrastructure? Will she support light rail and sustainable transportation for the South Fraser? Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Drew Adamick said...

The choice of Shirley Bond as the new Transportation Minister is an interesting choice. Frankly, in my opinion, anyone other than Kevin Falcon is an improvement in that portfolio. Prince George is in dire need of increased public transit and having a Prince George MLA in the portfolio in question will indeed lead to improvements in the system. Despite the fact that I have many axes to grind against the BC Liberal Party, I do admit that Shirley Bond has a good record of delivering for her constituents. So for Prince George and the North, the benefits of Ms. Bond in Transportation are significant.

I think the main question is, can Ms. Bond effectively handle Lower Mainland transit and transportation issues as that is where the big chunk of new transit-related projects are. I am not sure what her views are on both light and passenger rail, but I would not be surprised if demands for these in the Lower Mainland would not be met because of pressures from her Northern constituents (who in many cases believe that Northern tax dollars and resource revenues are used for Lower Mainland pet projects like the Canada Line and the new Convention centre rather than reinvested up North).