Contrary to Premier John Horgan’s whining, there is nothing “profound” about the cost of fixing up the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway. No, the real transportation money pits are the George Massey Tunnel replacement ($4 billion), the Broadway subway ($2.83 billion) and the possible Langley Skytrain line (which may come in at as much as $4.5 billion).
To be fair to Horgan, Liberal leader Kevin Falcon seems locked in the same T-Rex mindset represented by the profoundly weird name Illinois transportation planners worked under in the 1940s and ‘50s: Department of Subways and Superhighways. Falcon got the then-widest freeway bridge in the world built upstream from the Massey Tunnel, the biggest part of the $3 billion Gateway project.
On the mainland, the only politician who seemed to see the economy and efficiency of surface rail transit was former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts. The Liberals, who knows why, rejected her for charisma-deficient Andrew Wilkinson.
We can only hope that Horgan’s replacement will show more imagination and respect for his constituents and Vancouver Island politicians than he does.