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Get Moving BC Press Release

Get Moving BC

For Immediate Release

June 4, 2008

 

GET MOVING BC RESPONDS TO MAYOR CORRIGAN

 

The Burnaby Mayor should be listening to Burnaby Citizens instead of spending

their tax dollars on expensive ads trying to change their minds about the Gateway project

 

Vancouver, B.C. – Get Moving BC is today responding to Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan’s challenge.  On Tuesday, the Burnaby Mayor issued a press release which attempted to justify his expenditure of Burnaby taxpayer dollars on an expensive four-page, full colour anti-Gateway advertising insert in the Burnaby NewsLeader and Burnaby Now newspapers.

 

"There’s no question that the citizens of Burnaby support the Gateway project," says Get Moving BC spokesperson Michael McBratney.  “Mayor Corrigan should be listening to these citizens instead of using their tax dollars to try to get them to change their minds about the project.”

 

McBratney also dismissed the Mayor’s claim that Get Moving BC is distorting Burnaby’s position on the Port Mann Bridge and points to Mayor Corrigan’s long-standing and well-documented opposition to the Gateway project.

 

“Mayor Corrigan can spin and parse words and try to deflect things all he wants,” says McBratney, “but the ad clearly promotes the crazy notion that the Port Mann Bridge doesn’t need to be twinned and that a tolled, unexpanded Port Mann Bridge that restricts cars and forces people into buses will solve everything.”

 

Mayor Corrigan's council mate, Councillor Sav Dhaliwal, is likewise famous for having proposed – while speaking to Burnaby’s position on the Port Mann Bridge on the Bill Good Show last year – a reduction in the number of “car lanes” on the Port Mann Bridge in favour of bus lanes.  When Dhaliwal made this comment, an incredulous Bill Good clarified the “fewer lanes for cars” point with Councillor Dhaliwal who indicated that Good had indeed heard him correctly.

 

McBratney says unworkable “alternatives” to twinning the Port Mann Bridge like these have long been proposed by extreme opponents to the project, but these “alternatives” just aren’t viable and they effectively lead to an unexpanded, four or five-lane bridge with a single, tolled lane available each way for cars on a forty-four year old bridge. 

 

“The simplistic ‘alternatives’ referred to in the Mayor’s ad have been rejected long ago because they are ineffective; they represent a punitive approach to solving the problem of traffic congestion,” McBratney says. “Get Moving BC supports giving people realistic, balanced choices that include proper transit options and improved bridge and road capacity that will help get traffic through Burnaby without spilling onto Burnaby streets like it does now.”

 

McBratney also disagrees with Mayor Corrigan’s claim that the Mayor’s anti-Gateway ad provides a “balanced view” of the Port Mann Bridge issue.

 

“I don’t think it’s balanced to be saying that ‘long term negative implications’ are a ‘given’ for Burnaby as the Mayor’s ad does,” McBratney says.  “Twinning the Port Mann Bridge and improving Highway 1 represent a 50-year investment in infrastructure that will dramatically improve the Lower Mainland’s transportation system and do so in a balanced way, not the punitive way Mayor Corrigan is promoting.”

 

McBratney adds that improving Highway 1 and twinning the Port Mann Bridge will lead to less traffic chaos and rat-running on Burnaby’s streets.  He also says the new Rapid Bus lanes from Langley to Burnaby are going to be far superior to the convoluted half-measures being put forward by Mayor Corrigan and his Burnaby council mates and won’t unfairly penalize people who need to take their cars across the bridge.

 

“Mayor Corrigan just isn’t in sync with the people of Burnaby on the Port Mann Bridge issue,” McBratney says. “The Mayor should be listening to the 72 percent of citizens in Burnaby who support twinning the Port Mann Bridge, and alter his views accordingly, instead of spending their tax dollars to try to change their minds and force-feed punitive alternatives on them that just aren’t workable.” 

 

On Monday morning, Get Moving BC issued a press release denouncing the Mayor’s expensive anti-Gateway ads and suggesting that Mayor Corrigan is worried that he’s taken the wrong position on the Gateway project and fears it will hurt him at the polls in November.

 

Get Moving BC’s press release also made note of NRG Research Group’s scientific poll from last September which showed that 72 percent of Burnaby residents support twinning the Port Mann Bridge and widening Highway 1, with only 21 percent being opposed to the project.

 

 

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Get Moving BC is dedicated to holding governments accountable for a balanced transportation system and was formed to provide a voice for the majority of Greater Vancouver residents who support improving our roads, bridges and transit systems. 

 

For more information please contact Get Moving BC's at 604-678-5567 or by email at info@getmovingbc.com  
 
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