British Columbia

Scheer promises to prioritize Massey Tunnel replacement while campaigning in B.C.

The conservative leader announced the plan the same day as the global climate strikes, which he did not attend.

The conservative leader announced the plan the same day as the global climate strikes, which he did not attend

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters in Coquitlam, B.C. that if he is elected prime minister he would introduce measures to ensure infrastructure projects that reduce commute times would be moved to the top of the priority list. (CBC)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised Friday to prioritize the George Massey Tunnel replacement while campaigning in Coquitlam, B.C.

The replacement of the 60-year-old tunnel has become a political hot potato over the years. The plan for a 10-lane crossing was shelved by the B.C. NDP after it took office. 

Mayors from neighbouring municipalities, along with the chiefs of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen First Nations, have urged B.C. Premier John Horgan to find a solution for the "terrible bottleneck."

Scheer called the replacement a "badly needed project," one that would address traffic congestion and commute times.

"These types of upgrades to help increase the capacity, not only means that people get to and from work quicker, more time at home to spend with their families," he said. 

Climate change strikes

Demonstrators participate in a climate strike in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Reporters asked Scheer if he considered his announcement to be tone-deaf considering climate strikes were taking place across the country. The conservative leader explained the project would help reduce traffic, which would result in lower emissions.  

Scheer did not attend any of Friday's climate change action protests, unlike the federal leaders of the Liberal, NDP and Green Parties.

When asked why he didn't participate, Scheer said he was lending his support from afar. 

now