Golden Ears, Port Mann bridge toll-foe packs away signs

Surrey businessman said fees added to expenses

Running a small business should be a bit easier for Gary Hee now. The Surrey resident no longer will have to worry about tracking bridge toll bills and checking credit card statements and paying the charge to cross the Golden Ears or Port Mann bridges whenever he needs to visit clients on the north side of the Fraser River.

“It’s exhasting, from a small-business point of view,” he says Friday in Port Coquitlam following NDP Premier John Horgan’s announcement that bridge tolls are eliminated Sept. 1.

Hee sells computerized cash machines and says that it’s not easy running a small business because the profit margins are small.

Which is why paying a toll bill of even $10 a week hurt.

So four years ago, Hee started his campaign to clear the tolls from the bridges.

Hee, who ran as an independent in south Surrey last B.C. election, collected a petition with 1,100 names and presented it to the Liberal government.

His efforts didn’t go anywhere. The bridge toll stayed on although the Liberals proposed during the May 2017 election capping annual toll fees to motorists at $500.

Hee spent four years trying to get the tolls cancelled.

“You know what the secret is? Don’t give up.

“Have faith, hope and determination.”

Hee says that the government should just impose a new fee on to vehicle licence plates, to be applied provincewide, in order to raise money to replace the lost bridge-toll revenue. “Why make it more complex?”

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