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

VIDEO: Surrey Mounties arrest man trapped in cell phone repair shop

Man arrested as police respond to report of break-in in Guildford

Humboldt Broncos’ Straschnitzki in Surrey to play sledge hockey with Wickenheiser

Friendly game on Feb. 1 part of the Wickfest female hockey event in North Surrey

LETTER: Surrey mayor made me uncomfortable by bashing reliable ‘Now-Leader’

During a recent phone call, McCallum talked a lot about himself before disparaging newspapers

Two rescued from distressed boat in Boundary Bay

Marine rescue crews and police tasked out Monday evening

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

VIDEO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Grant’s Landing resident replace her possessions

Most Read