Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Port Mann project passes major milestone with Bill 14

Pro-Transportation group says public-private partnerships have proven themselves here in B.C.

Vancouver, B.C. – The Port Mann Bridge project successfully passed a major milestone on the road to completion last Thursday with the introduction of Bill 14. And according to Get Moving BC spokesperson Sheri Wiens that’s great news for the thousands of frustrated Lower Mainland commuters who’ve been gridlocked by the aging forty-four year old Port Mann Bridge for far too long.

“Bill 14 is great news for frustrated Port Mann commuters,” Wiens says. “They can all breathe a little easier knowing the project isn’t a far off thing anymore, it really is becoming more real every day.”

Bill 14 – which is formally called the Transportation Investment (Port Mann Twinning) Amendment Act – establishes a new crown corporation that will partner with private sector companies to design, build, finance and then operate the new Port Mann Bridge and improved Highway #1.

Wiens says public-private partnerships combine the strengths of the private sector with the strengths of government in a way that creates great value for taxpayers. When it comes to bringing major projects in on time and on budget, Wiens says, public-private partnerships have a superior record to governments going it alone, and they produce top quality work.

“There’s no question that public-private partnerships have proven themselves here in B.C.,” says Wiens pointing to a number of examples of successful public-private partnerships here in B.C. like the new Abbotsford Hospital, the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre at VGH, the new Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge and even the new Canada Line that is currently ahead of schedule.

“Partnering with industry, and making use of industry’s ability to innovate, just makes good sense for taxpayers,” says Wiens. “Governments should stick to what they do best and not try to reinvent what private industry already does really well.”

Wiens says Get Moving BC has also called on TransLink to look at adopting Hong Kong’s proven public-private partnership model to help expand the Lower Mainland’s transit system and help pay for the $14 billion transit plan announced by the provincial government. Wiens says leveraging commercial and residential real estate development using a public-private partnership model would not only help pay for the expansion of the transit system it would also contribute to the long term operating costs of the system.

“Hong Kong has one of the few profitable transit systems in the world, which is why we called on TransLink to adopt Hong Kong’s innovative public-private development model,” Wiens says. “Public-private partnerships work and they’ve proven themselves, and we’ve got plenty of great examples we can point to right here in the Lower Mainland.”

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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 at 604-678-5567 or by email at info@getmovingbc.com

Online References and Attachments:
· https://getmovingbc.com/
· Get Moving BC press release from February 11, 2008 : Get Moving BC Says “No” To New Transit Taxes https://getmovingbc.com/press_release/February11_2008.html

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