Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Question I Would Like The Stenographers To Ask Mr. de Jong


"Mr. de Jong, which has fallen more since your government unveiled its budget in the spring of 2012, revenues from bridge tolls or revenues from natural gas?"


As a follow-up.....

"Which, exactly, do you have the power to control?"



Chris said...

I'd like them to ask the minister a couple of followup questions:

Where in the planning for this magnificent project -- the world's widest bridge!, as we were reminded today -- was any work done on the fact that drivers would go from a zero-cost crossing one day to an alleged three bucks the next? And that they might not like it, and might refuse to pay, and might divert to other free bridges (you know, the Pattullo, which has already turned New Westminster into a sort of connector highway for the region). And that the tolls that are supposed to fund this unnecessary replacement of a perfectly good bridge will never materialize.

If it's a good idea to offer a free first week to warm people up -- look how much fun, you're on the world's widest bridge! -- and then charge only half-price tolls for a few months, was that budgeted in to the plan, Mr. Minister? Why haven't you explained what you actually had in mind when you launched this massive project? If it's a sound business plan, surely a solid, sensible, business-planned toll was part of the thinking all along, right?

So could we see the documents on that, Mr. Minister? Could we have the records of those discussions, the ones where you weighed the pros and cons of toll prices?

Because we're entitled to know. Entitled in general, as citizens. And entitled in particular as an election looms and the fare discussion gets more and more, oh, let's say elastic.

And because without those records, we're left to drift into confusion.

We're left to drift into cynicism, to imagine that maybe you just plain thought you could stick a $3 toll in place and people would pay it.

Or that people who live in New West, where the Patullo crossing remains free of tolls, wouldn't scream bloody murder about your actual plan?

Or that maybe it's now all about getting a couple of your players re-elected, and sticking the incoming government, and the citizens of the province, with the bill for the uncollected tolls.

Or that maybe the guy who dreamed all this up (and you all bobbled your heads in agreement with) is off in London now, at our expense, and doesn't care. And never did.

RossK said...


Excellent points....

I dunno 'bout you, but I'm still screaming about the toe I stubbed, hard, on the Astroturf that helped move this thing along back when all those heads were 'a-bobbing.

(please note the groundskeeper who, these days, is apparently out to save the interests of all of us taxpayers)


Chris said...

Yeah, that was one of the Sun's funniest ledes ever.

I think the general rule for most reporters would be that a group of six residents might be significant -- if, say, their town had a population of 10.

I believe that the Sun reporter in question is now a communications specialist.

RossK said...

Are you suggesting the reporter in question was not then, too, a 'specialist' of such communications?


Bill said...

Thanks Ross

Timely post and on the money. Chris's comments and cynicism are both well founded with the "new" BC Liberal's latest prognostications and proclamations.

Only in BC does Astroturf actually "grow" - a wonder to us all. Can not wait to turf all their as...

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The Liberals are clearly preparing to dip their bucket back into their Magic Well: the Restraint Well at the bottom of Broke Bennett Hill.

cfvua said...

Had Neufeld, Campbell, Hansen, Coleman and all the rest, yes Christy too, not been so generous in their entrepreneurial subsidy.....errr....incentive plans for the Calgary crowd, they might be so broke right now. Maybe with their trusty liberals in trouble Gassy Gwynn will rally the troops to return a couple of $billion to BC that was "credited" through the programs. any bean counter can tell you that revenue you credit back is revenue you will never have. And these were the people selling themselves as being better at managing the economy?