George Massey Tunnel connecting Richmond and North Delta is the biggest traffic bottleneck in Metro Vancouver. (North Delta Reporter)

George Massey Tunnel connecting Richmond and North Delta is the biggest traffic bottleneck in Metro Vancouver. (North Delta Reporter)

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

B.C.’s agreement with the B.C. Green Party shows that minority governments can be stable and effective, Finance Minister Carole James said in the wake of the federal election.

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won more than 150 seats Monday to secure a minority government, he needs support of one or more other parties to pass legislation. The federal NDP were reduced to 25 seats, but that still leaves them enough to provide majority votes if they cooperate with the Liberals on issues they agree on.

James was asked Tuesday about the prospects for federal support on extending SkyTrain in Surrey, and constructing an eight-lane replacement for the four-land George Massey Tunnel connecting Richmond and Delta.

“I think it will be some time, but we also have the opportunity, if the governing party is going to work together with New Democrats,” James said. “We know the values of child care, we know the values of green transportation, and the opportunities that provides for us to address our issues around climate, are commonalities there.”

The SkyTrain project took an unexpected turn when Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum won election on a promise to replace a surface light rail extension with elevated SkyTrain technology to match the rest of the Metro Vancouver system. Federal and B.C. governments have committed $1.6 billion to extend the system towards Langley, but switching to SkyTrain adds considerably to the costs.

RELATED: Trudeau won, but not a majority. What comes next?

RELATED: More federal funds needed for Skytrain extension

The B.C. NDP government scrapped the B.C. Liberal plan for a 10-lane bridge to replace the Massey tunnel, and Metro politicians have since come together to support an eight-lane replacement tunnel instead. That requires federal fisheries permits to dredge the river bottom so tunnel sections can be floated out and put in place, a process that could put the replacement up to 10 years away. The price tag is also up in the air for a project that would require federal and provincial financing.

After being involved in the 2017 negotiations with the B.C. Green Party for a minority government, James said the task facing the Liberal minority is a delicate one.

“It will be a long week, a long couple of weeks, that’s what I also remember,” James said. “People often say minority governments have a short shelf life. I think we’ve proven here in British Columbia that when you work together, and when you focus on the people of the province, you can get great things done.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Proprietor of Sweet Truck, Morgan Ray, as she hands off her baked goods to a customer. (Photo courtesy of Avrinder Dhillon Photography)
COVID-19: Qualicum Beach baker eyes move back from food truck to bricks and mortar

Storefront offers more stability amid growth in sales: Ray

The Town of Qualicum Beach will put aside money for future purchase of electric vehicle and to put up charging stations. (Photo Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)
Qualicum Beach to put aside funds for purchase of electric vehicles, charging stations

Citizens can donate funds to help reduce emissions in town

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read