It’s not about trains; it’s about the equitable distribution of revenue and burden.
Trains deliver goods that keep our economy working. The regions south of the Fraser River are being forced by federal and provincial governments to become toxic-waste industrial parks. Delta, Surrey, and White Rock, shall, it seems, shut up and accept this role. They should quietly watch freight grow five times along their unprotected foreshore. They shall dutifully export all goods from their ports.
In exchange for this blind servitude, south-dwelling taxpayers have the right to pack their children and bicycles into minivans. Loaded, they shall drive to Victoria and Vancouver and marvel at the wonders their governments have created. Created, at the expense of their own neighbourhoods, their families and their future.
Boundary Bay can match or best any vista along the West Coast Trail, Galloping Goose or Stanley Park Seawall. Why is it not an iconic park for the million taxpayers living next to it? More to the point, why are the federal and provincial governments playing DOT-111 roulette in the backyard of South Fraser municipalities?
Port Metro Vancouver, B.C. and the federal government have spent a billion dollars upgrading the east-west CN/CP corridor leading to Deltaport. They’ve spent nothing on the north-south BNSF corridor that now accounts for almost half of all freight traffic.
Freight on U.S. trains, piloted by U.S. staff, carrying U.S. oil and U.S. coal, along a Canadian foreshore. Freight that crosses a 100-year-old swing bridge, on a track that is 100 feet below an unstable mud bluff, that is inaccessible by first responders from land or sea, and that has no spillage containment. A track that trestles the Campbell, Nicomekl, and Serpentine rivers, carving a path meters from the edge of the bay.
Boundary Bay needs an iconic park and seawall. People south of the Fraser require an ocean playground where they live. Their backyard is already paying for it.
Erik Seiz, Surrey