Re: Please don’t fund climate change with the Massey Bridge!
We the undersigned would like to thank you for making climate change a priority of your new government. We are writing to you today out of concern that some of the federal infrastructure money you have promised may go to a project that jeopardizes the progress Canada is making to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed Massey Bridge in Metro Vancouver is a project straight out of the 1950s. A ten-lane bridge will do nothing to improve traffic congestion, but threaten the Fraser ecosystem and encourage communities south of the river to tear up valuable farmland and build vehicle-dependent sprawl. Imposing a freeway-driven car culture on local communities for the next 100 years does not fit in with the Regional Growth Strategy.
Building new freeways when climate change is already impacting BC communities is irresponsible. Adding just one mile of new highway lane increases carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes over 50 years, according to the Sightline Institute.(1)
This bridge proposal feeds a continuing dependence on fossil fuels and is at odds with the ambitious climate goals your government committed to in Paris last year.This unnecessary project’s $3.5 billion price tag should be put towards funding public transit. In 2008, the provincial government promised a “RapidBus BC” service to White Rock which would have eased congestion on Highway 99. Instead, transit service through the tunnel has actually been cut. While theprovince forced an unwanted transit referendum on the voters of Metro Vancouver, it has unilaterally decided to spend far more on a pet project of Port Metro Vancouver. We now know the project hopes to expand the use of deep draught ships carrying LNG and coal – further damaging our climate.We are asking you to heed calls for a federal review panel to assess this complex and far-reaching project and to withhold any federal infrastructure funding to replace the Massey Tunnel. We ask you to honour your commitments that this money goes to clean infrastructure, specifically to desperatelyneeded transit projects throughout the region. People in Metro Vancouver are eager for your leadership on climate change, and want to see federal funding go towards a green post-carbon future for our region.
1 Williams-Derry, Clark. “Does congestion relief equal climate relief?”, Sightline Institute, Oct. 4, 2007.