Reality Check: Do B.C. Liberals still stand by their support for scrapping unfair tolls?

Posted in: , ,

VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan and the New Democrat government are taking immediate action to make life more affordable and get people moving by scrapping unfair tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges. This is just one of many steps to make life better for British Columbians.

Just a few weeks ago, the B.C. Liberals showed their support for the New Democrat policy, mimicking the policy in their own Throne Speech – deemed the “Clone Speech” for their adoption of numerous New Democrat commitments.

Do they still stand by their word?

Here’s what they had to say about eliminating tolls:

“We had put up a toll thing in the campaign, and we’ve gone further now, saying no tolls. I think the important piece of no tolls is recognizing, first of all, the crosses that families bear.”

Rich Coleman, CKYE, June 28, 2017

“It gave us the opportunity to simply say to British Columbians that it’s time to reap the benefits… to deal with bridge tolls… surely, the [New Democrat] members opposite can agree on that one since it was their idea in the election campaign.”

Andrew Wilkinson, BC Legislature June 27, 2017

“[People in the lower mainland] are paying upwards of $1,700 per year in tolls just to get the kids to school or get to work. That becomes an issue of fairness in the lower mainland context… Part of our reflection after the election as we prepared for our throne speech and then, again, in the context of this $2.8b surplus and this 3.7-per-cent growth rate, we determined that we could eliminate the tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and bring that bridge back into government and not dramatically impact our debt-to-GDP ratio. We don’t think this will affect our credit rating at all. We think we can afford it.”

Todd Stone, CHNL, June 29, 2017

“The removal of tolls on the Port Mann Bridge is a big promise, but this is clearly what the voters of Surrey were concerned about, and we heard that message. Removal of tolls is essentially the pay-down of debt on a provincial asset. Again, it’s not a question of ideology but of affordability.”

Laurie Throness, B.C. Legislature, June 29, 2017

“British Columbia has connected and livable communities, delivered over decades of strong investment in infrastructure and transit…We will remove tolls on the Port Mann Bridge as soon as possible and work to remove them on the Golden Ears Bridge.”

John Yap, B.C. Legislature, June 28, 2017

“This is going to be a wonderful announcement that will, hopefully, thin out the traffic and make traffic more accessible on all the different crossings, rather than people trying to avoid the toll on the Port Mann Bridge.”

Ian Paton, B.C. Legislature, June 28, 2017