Liberals' heritage assurances fall flat

Liberals' heritage assurances fall flat
 
Surrey Now July 19, 2011

The Editor,

Re: "Historic cannery coming down," the Now, July 12.

In a report to Delta council (April 2, 2007) the B.C. Liberal government said the design of the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) had "been refined to mitigate access impacts to heritage properties." One year later, then minister of transportation Kevin Falcon guaranteed heritage preservation, "I know we've identified some heritage assets - like heritage houses, etc. - where we're going to make sure that they've got appropriate access, etc. We'll continue to do that as we go forward." (Hansard: Ministry of Transportation Estimates, PM Session, April 14, 2008). Within four months that promise was broken.

According to the B.C. Liberal government's own Heritage Impact Study (August 2008), the rationale to destroy the oldest cannery south of the Fraser River was based on a lack of access to it because of the SFPR.

Interesting reasoning: we didn't kill heritage, but only access to it. The government continues to fabricate its ill-thought-out Gateway Project plans with typical B.C. Liberal double-speak.

For a freeway, now with traffic lights along the way, costs have more than tripled. Whole neighbourhoods, environmentally-sensitive foreshores and ravines, bogs, riparian habitat, heritage and archeological protected areas and farmland have been nuked, and for what - a multi-billion dollar piece of concrete that will dump more traffic onto the already bumperto-bumper Delta roads and the Alex Fraser Bridge.

After B.C. Liberal government assurances that they would not sell off BC Rail, that the HST was not even on their radar, the deficit would be "$495 million maximum" and that Delta would continue to have access to its heritage sites, is it no wonder why the people of Delta and B.C. cannot trust the Liberal government.

Guy Gentner, MLA Delta North
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