Published: December 16, 2008 6:00 PM
With much interest I read Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini's inaugural address after the council swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 2.
Once again, the mayor should be applauded for reminding his senior government counterparts that the overdue Murray-Clarke Connector and Evergreen Line infrastructure construction projects both remain at the top of the priority list for Port Moody citizens and our neighbours.
We've had an overwhelming hotchpotch of delays imposed on us by Translink, Metro Vancouver's Liveable Region Strategy, provincial and federal government funding uncertainties, changes in the rapid transit technology from light rail to SkyTrain, and debates about a north vs. a south route for the Evergreen Line.
Co-ordinated planning for Moody Centre around sites like Kyle Centre, Jake's Crossing, Andres Winery, the Royal Canadian Legion and others is not possible. OCP planning is basically on hold. How can merchants along St. Johns and Clarke streets reviewing lease negotiations conduct business with the continued uncertainty?
A year ago, I wrote about development on hold in many parts of Port Moody as a result of the outrageous 20-year delay in building the Murray-Clarke Connector and today, the entire city of Port Moody continues to be held hostage.
After meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last month while visiting Ottawa, Premier Gordon Campbell said, "There are literally hundreds of thousands of construction workers across the country who we want to keep at work." The Prime Minister said, "We all agreed that we should see infrastructure spending accelerated. This will help support general economic activity."
Mayor Trasolini is right. We need TransLink and the new Evergreen Line offices to get their doors open and start talking to and working with the local community. As the mayor points out, costs of construction and financing have come down with the economy slowing. Labour once scarce is now more available so there are simply no longer any reasons for delay.
Since Premier Campbell wants to keep construction workers busy, and since infrastructure spending will be accelerated, what is holding-up the Murray Clarke Connector and Evergreen Line in Port Moody now?