BC Conservative candidates double down on Rustad’s support for bridge tolls

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After David Eby called out BC Conservative leader John Rustad for opposing the BC NDP’s elimination of bridge tolls in 2017, three of his candidates are confirming the party still thinks tolling the Port Mann and Golden Ears is the right thing to do.

Speaking in Surrey yesterday, David Eby pointed out that John Rustad’s reaction to the elimination of tolls was to call it “a huge slap in the face.”

Yesterday, BC Conservative candidates Misty van Popta (Langley-Walnut Grove), Bryan Tepper (Surrey-White Rock), and Chris Sankey (North Coast-Haida Gwaii) all defended tolls. They argue that traffic was better when tolls existed, when working people were diverted to the Pattullo and Alex Fraser in order to avoid the tolls.

Sankey: “Eby is incorrect. What he fails to mention is that the cost to businesses has substantially gone up due to traffic jams and overcrowded bridges. Businesses were happy to pay.”

Van Popta: “Um. As someone who commutes daily through the valley and across the Port Mann, stats show traffic increased 25% as soon as the tolls were removed. It’s the NDP who don’t care about commuters south of the Fraser.”

Tepper: “Disappointed to see that David Eby’s candidate believes that since tolls were removed from bridges, they are magically paid for.”

Eliminating bridge tolls has saved many drivers $1,500 a year and over $10,000 total since 2017.

The B.C. NDP has also unequivocally rejected the idea of a road tax or mobility pricing.

Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation: “People who rely on these bridges to get to work have saved more than $10,000 since we got rid of tolls, but John Rustad and his candidates just don’t get it. They want to make it too expensive for working families to use those bridges and instead go back to privatized infrastructure as an express lane for the wealthiest few who can afford to pay expensive tolls. It’s good to know that John Rustad likes tolls alongside his years of support for the ICBC dumpster fire that jacked up rates. One way or another, John Rustad is going to cost middle class drivers a lot more.”