NDP says rest of province will help pay to get rid of tolls
Party says Lower Mainland bridges should be funded like all other infrastructure projects in the province
NDP Leader John Horgan clarified today his party's position to get rid of tolls on two Lower Mainland bridges — that the rest of the province would make up the lost revenue.
Horgan has said, if elected, his government would eliminate tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.
Critics have pointed out the loss of tolls would translate into a revenue loss of about $200 million and questioned who would make up this shortfall — particularly with infrastructure improvement projects on the horizon.
On the CBC's The Early Edition Tuesday, Horgan said the costs would be spread across the province.
"I think British Columbians understand if we can't move goods and services through our ports then that has an impact on rural B.C. If we've got congestion, that hurts everybody," he said.
Horgan said it was a matter of fairness.
"The only place in British Columbia where citizens are paying tolls is on the Port Mann bridge and the Golden Ears. There's no toll in the Sea-to-Sky Highway. There's no toll on the Island Highway. There's no toll on the Kicking Pass Bridge on Highway 1 just outside of Revelstoke. There's no toll on the new bridge in Kelowna," he said.
"Right now the only people paying the price for infrastructure is people south of the Fraser and I don't think that's fair."
Take a listen to NDP Leader John Horgan on tolls:
The B.C. Liberals have promised to cap tolls at $500 a year for commuters using the bridges and future replacements for the Pattullo Bridge and the George Massey Tunnel once they are in operation.
Listen to the full interview and call-in segment with NDP leader John Horgan: