Wednesday , April 21 2021

Premier says Surrey SkyTrain has no more money

SkyTrain leaves Surrey Central SkyTrain Station.

Francis Georgy / PNG

VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan says Surrey does not have additional provincial money if he has to pay more for Mayor Doug McCallum election bidding to SkyTrain.

Horgan said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the two governments would only finance the amount they had previously agreed – about 40 percent each – for two of the Phase 2 Metro Vancouver Transit expansion plans.

Initially, the plan included a $ 1.65 billion Surrey-Newton-Guildford passenger rail transit project. Meanwhile, the Regional Transport Council Mayor decided in November to suspend LRT when McCallum won the Surrey Municipal Board, promising to move to the SkyTrain line from Surrey to Langley and TransLink's estimates could cost more than $ 2.6 billion.

"Two government, federal and provincial authorities are doing their best to get more money to achieve this," Horgans told Postmedia News on Wednesday.

"If Mr McCallum wants to raise taxes for Surrey, he's welcome to fill the gap. I do not think the Surrey people will accept it. But that's the only way there will be more money, it will come out of your pocket not from a federal or provincial pie . "

The regional Mayors will vote on whether to start planning the SkyTrain activity schedule by 2025.

There is still controversy over how to finance the obvious difference between billions of dollars between LRT and SkyTrain.

McCallum has said he thinks that the entire Surrey-Langley SkyTrain line can be constructed much less than TransLink's calculations.

Surveyors said in November that any SkyTrain proposal should only use 1.65 billion dollars for Phase 2, although this would not be enough to completely build the 16-kilometer line to the center of Langley.

For Phase 3 of the Plan, there are another $ 1.9 billion for fast transit to Fraser South, but this plan has not yet been funded and any quick transit will be used – SkyTrain, light rail or fast bus – has not yet been clarified. The Tomorrow's Municipal Council will vote on whether to bring TransLink staff to continue updating this fast-moving transit plan.

TransLink plans to prepare the business case "Surrey SkyTrain" next year. So far, it has not asked provincial or federal governments to provide additional funding.

Horgan said he "just does not" if McCallum hopes to turn B.C. government to cover his election bid SkyTrain.

"If they want to do SkyTrain, I'm good with it, but it will not be that far, it's easy," said Horgan. "You do not want to make as many miles as the money is on the table."

Horgan also took advantage of McCallum's shot if he wanted to try to blame the provincial government.

"It will not be acceptable to me if he turns around and says that this is all due to the fault of the province, because we had a fully funded plan that was ready to go to support the previous council and so before," said Horgan.

The prime minister also warned about the "consequences" of the delay, but said he would leave it to the local mayors to suggest his plans.

"I'm happy to drive Mayor McCallum and his advice, but they have to understand that they can not just turn Dodge and say I want another billion, or I want to hold my breath," said Horgan. "It will not help anyone."

McCallum did not submit a comment request on Wednesday.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond repeated on Wednesday that the available budget in his mind for SkyTrain would be $ 1.6 billion previously approved for Phase 2.

"We will find a line as far as we can use it with an available $ 1.65 billion," he said.

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