Federal candidates spar over transit funding in Surrey

Conservative Party’s promise to provide up to $700 million for light rail transit in Surrey under attack by political rivals.

The Conservative Party has promised to provide up to $700 million for light rail transit in Surrey.

SURREY — The Conservative Party’s promise to provide up to $700 million for light rail transit in Surrey, if re-elected to government on Oct. 19, is under heavy attack by political rivals.

Former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, who is running for the Conservatives in South Surrey-White Rock, revealed Monday that a re-elected Conservative government will pay for one-third of the proposed Surrey LRT project, which features 28 kilometers of rail.

“Light rail transit will shape our city, spur economic growth and connect communities,” Watts said. “By reducing congestion, it will also contribute to regional economic growth and prosperity by allowing businesses to get their products to market faster and more easily.”

Garry Begg, the NDP’s candidate for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said the Conservatives’ “one-off” plan leaves the city “without stable, predictable funding for the ability to plan long-term.

“Whether it’s deploying 100 RCMP officers in Surrey or funding transit, the Conservatives continue to drag their feet,” Begg said. “Surrey deserves more than just one-off, piecemeal transit funding.”

Begg said the NDP will invest $5.2 billion for transit and infrastructure in the Lower Mainland.

Sukh Dhaliwal, former Liberal MP and the party’s candidate for Surrey-Newton, called the Conservatives’ promise “electoral politics at its worst.” He noted that two years have already passed since the City of Surrey submitted a funding request for the LRT project to Ottawa, with no response until this election campaign.

On Sept. 14 Dhaliwal tweeted out that “Trudeau pledges $2.1 Billion for Surrey Transit including Light Rail to Newton.”

The NDP, he added, is the only major federal party “not to offer a firm funding commitment” for Surrey’s LRT.

The $1.3 billion the NDP has promised for transit won’t arrive until 2019, he said, despite Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s election commitment to have the first LRT line built by 2019.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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

Just Posted

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Most Read