Friday, September 21, 2007

Will Gordon "green" Gateway with Evergreen Line realignment? Can BC Liberals grow Astroturf?

A Bridge Too Far? Rumours swirl of Gordon Campbell Gateway repositioning with Evergreen Line realignment over Port Mann to counter greenhouse gas increases

Meanwhile BC Liberal Astroturf group continues to sprout nonsense

The controversial Gateway project that will increase greenhouse gases may be in line for some greenwashing by Premier Gordon Campbell.

Rumours first reported by Gordon Price indicate that the Evergreen Line - long-planned but never implemented - may be funded and realigned to include a branch spanning the Port Mann bridge.

The intent is to blunt strong criticism of Gateway and in particular that the twinning of the Port Mann bridge that will put thousands more cars on the road - and according to Metro Vancouver [formerly GVRD] report, add significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.

"Traffic-related greenhouse-gas emissions with the Gateway Program will be 2.1 per cent (approximately 176,000 tonnes) higher in 2021, as compared to a 'without Gateway' scenario," said the report.

That's a problem, as Campbell has recently stated BC's goal will be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, an amount that many experts feel will be extremely hard to achieve.

Price, a six-time Non-Partisan Association councilor and longtime sustainability advocate, says that an announcement on the Evergreen Line could come as soon as the Union of BC Municipalities conference next week.

"Regarding the Evergreen Line, a mayor of an eastern municipality is convinced an announcement is coming soon. Perhaps at the UBCM. The mayor also thinks that the Evergreen Line will take the southwest route along Lougheed AND a branch will head off over the Port Mann to Guildford (maybe further)," Price writes on his blog.

Meanwhile, a BC Liberal Astroturf group continues to sprout nonsense.

Get Moving BC, a group closely connected to key BC Liberals in the South Fraser, released a poll claiming that 72% of Burnaby residents support the Gateway program. Surprise, surprise, Burnaby city council has consistently opposed Gateway!

So it is equally surprising to find that among those involved in Get Moving BC are: Jordan Bateman, vice-president of Forestry Minister Rich Coleman's riding association and a Langley Township councillor; Greg Moore, former BC Liberal candiate,Port Coquitlam city councillor and currently BC Liberal organizer; Brian Bonney, former operations director for the BC Liberals; and Patrick O'Connor, a BC Liberal supporter who is Get Moving spokesman.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told the Province newspaper that the poll was "laughable".

Don't know about the poll but the group is certainly worth a chuckle.



26 comments:

Budd Campbell said...

"Traffic-related greenhouse-gas emissions with the Gateway Program will be 2.1 per cent (approximately 176,000 tonnes) higher in 2021, as compared to a 'without Gateway' scenario," said the report.

Since when is a 2.1 per cent increase over a fifteen year period an increase? It's status quo for all practical intents and purposes.

The insincerity of Gateway critics is annoying, and revealing. Among the lies I have caught them at over the past couple of years were mass transit plans supposedly announced in Toronto that never happened, and claims that Environment Canada has ordered the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of migratory birds in the Delta area to clear a path for port expansion. People who need to make up BS like that don't have a case, and any reasonable and intellectually honest person can see that immediately.

The reason people on the left get fooled by these nuts and kooks has to do with the left's chronic positioning on behalf of the disadvantaged. That allows the left to be easily manipulated by dishonest people posing as representatives of the downtrodden.

And there's another angle, the traditional teacher/social worker dislike of engineers and natural scientists that permeates the NDP, especially on the BC provincial scene. That's why NDP politicians are easy sucker bait for the idea that qualified, dedicated, career public servants in the Gateway office or the Environmental Assessment Office are really just unprofessional pawns of some road building lobby, but the anti-Gateway mixture of trailer park activists from the Valley and rich, upper-class, Westside "Greens" represent real honest expertise on the issues. The fact that they make up lies to get attention is just overlooked as one of those things that downtrodden people do when forced to fight back against the system, etc., etc.

As a career public servant, I am being forced to ask, "Am I in the right party?"

G West said...

The Campbell plan is to DECREASE GHG emissions by 33% - not increase it by 2.1%. If we don't get traffic related GHG down, not up by 2.1%, in the next 15 years that pie-in-the-sky prediction of Campbell the greenie (2020) is just utter nonsense.

You know it, we all know it. And Gateway will make things worse, not better.

As to the rest of your rant, I think you need to huddle up again and come back to the line of scrimmage with something a little more comprehensible. This has bugger all to do with the disadvantaged and a lot to do with cold hard empirical facts.

Michael Parkes said...

Hi Bill, his name is not Jason Bateman, it's Jordan Bateman. I had the displeasure of being at the same highschool as him in the 90's.

Budd Campbell said...

This has bugger all to do with the disadvantaged and a lot to do with cold hard empirical facts.

You know something, G West? I just wish you could use your eloquence to convince the NDP Provincial Council that this issue has nothing to do with the disadvantaged, and everything to do with Canada's competitiveness, productivity and wage levels. Maybe then they would start to act sensibly instead of falling for the sucker bait they get offered.

Where do you propose to find the 33% reduction? From what you say, I assume you're going to reduce VMTs travelled in BC, including the Interior and the North, by 33% by the year 2020, and you're going to do that in spite of another million or more people living in BC by that time. How do you propose to achieve that objective?

Terry Lavender said...

Has anyone been able to get anywhere on the Get Moving BC website (www.getmovingbc.com)? On my Mac, none of the buttons on the site's front page work in either Firefox or Safari. A pity as I so wanted to win the free iPod or Faresaver booklets ;-) Perhaps the site works in Windows - does anyone know?

I tried to find out who registered the site, using the standard "whois" procedure, but they have it routed through a third party (Domains By Proxy - an American firm with the sole purpose of providing privacy to website owners). I guess they have something to hide. So, the website is actually owned by an American firm.

It's also interesting that they've used a dot com address, rather than a dot ca address. I guess they're showing where their true interests lie - as a for-profit commercial enterprise.

Anonymous said...

What is true ie: Gateway scam ?

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve D
To: programming @cknw com ; nwnews ; good@cknw.com
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 10:08 AM
Subject: What is true 1) Gordo wants to run rapid transit over Portman bridge in 20 years


1) Gordo wants to run rapid transit over Portman bridge in 20 years

2)Falcon & Diane Watts want transit on Fraser Highway

3) Diane watts wants to use the inter-urban line for transit

4)They just spent millions upgrading Fraser Hwy ie: no transit route .


steve dockeray

milner bc

canada

Damien Gillis said...

Hi Bill,

Thanks for continuing to shed light on the GetMovingBC astroturf campaign. In a CBC Almanac show dedicated to Gateway earlier this week, when host Mark Forsythe referred to GetMovingBC as a "coalition," spokesperson Ian MacPherson laughed at the suggestion. "Thank you for calling us a coalition, but we're really just a group of six people!" Apparently six very politically motivated individuals, well-connected to the BC Liberal party, posing as a grassroots organization. And no one's disputing this. You can hear the whole Almanac Gateway segment in the web archives at http://www.cbc.ca/bcalmanac/ Also of note is the change in tone and language regarding Gateway from last year. Now it's all "It's not an either/or thing...We need both Gateway and public transit." Whether this represents savvy greenwashing or a genuine committment to addressing the woeful lack of public tarnsit throughout the region remains to be seen. I have a hunch it will prove to be the former.

Budd Campbell said...

You know Bill, whatever the credibility, or lack thereof, of Jordan Bateman's poll of Burnaby residents, what makes you think that Corrigan and Burnaby Council are speaking for the majority of Burnaby residents?

Most Burnaby residents bought their homes there over the past 50 years thinking that proximity to the freeway was one of the locational advantages of a home in Burnaby! And you know something else? Those people have been the NDP and the BCA's vote base!

That's why the NDP didn't gain much ground in Burnaby in the 2005 provincial election, and why the BCA had a bit of a slow nite during the municipal elections later that year. Long time supporters, listening to the silly-bugger rhetoric against Port Mann and Highway 1 coming from Corrigan and the BCA councillors sat on their hands, thinking "this isn't a working class party anymore." And to a degree, they're right. Corrigan and some of the other leaders of the Burnaby and district NDP have become an extension of Vancouver's cafe latte Yuppie crowd, ... even if Corrigan no longer has his posh Saab 960 that he drove into some Vancouver Sun headlines weeks before the 1996 provincial election.

Yup, ... Derek's a real public transit man alright. He knows it's better to drive the talk instead of walk it, ... you cover more ground that way! LOL.

And as for Jordan's Get Moving site, who really cares? Jordan has a silly little site of his own, Langleypolitics.com, from which I was banned because I exposed some of his connections to a gay bashing American religious leader. Then he goes ahead and uses some of my pro-Gateway statements on his own Langleypolitics site and on GetMoving. What a guy, eh?

And really, as a citizen of Canada, whose entire national economy needs Gateway in order to make sure that real wages in this country don't lag even worse than they have, am I supposed to give a damn that Jack Davidson got Jordan to put up a propaganda site peddling Port Mann and Hwy 1, when I take a look at what the anti-Gateway crowd are doing? How many websites do they have posing as grassroots initiatives, when they are in fact backed up by multi-million dollar environmental NGOs with offices and supporters in the richest precincts in this province?

Anonymous said...

What a lot of cranky people you have here. The South Fraser Perimeter Road which is part of the Gateway project is nothing more than pandering to the trucking industry which has caused 2 accidents this week in and near the tunnel. This group has a huge lobby group chatting up the nuts in Victoria. And this week Falcon is in London, Paris & Rotterdam at our expense! Seems he's trying to learn how Rotterdam has such good relationships with its neighbours at its Port and here there are rotten relationships.

Budd Campbell said...

"The South Fraser Perimeter Road which is part of the Gateway project is nothing more than pandering to the trucking industry ... "

Bill, here from anonymous is the very kind of thinking I was refering to when I said "cafe latte Yuppie crowd".

Perhaps if anonymous had said "pandering to Teamsters" it might have been more clear, but surely you can see that there's a real Victorian-era prejudice here against blue collar workers, the kind of work they do, the kinds of education and socialization they are stereotypically imagined to have, be they in transport or manufacturing or construction or in the primary forestry and mining sector. To the degree that Carole James and the NDP have bought it or are thought to have bought in to that kind of attitude, and to the degree that it dictates or is thought to dictate the kinds of public policy choices they would make as a majority government, you have a pretty good explanation for the BC Liberals 18 point lead among male voters.

G West said...

There will be little or no reduction in GHG Budd, not because it isn't possible - but because this government hasn't seriously addressed the need to reduce GHG. In fact, Gateway will - as predicted - result in more, not less, vehicular traffic in the lower mainland.

I don't care how dedicated and professional the civil servants who work for the various levels of government are. Folks in the engineering department in Surrey and Langley and Pitt Meadow can put up all the traffic lights they need and they can manage the sprawl and the mess that will result as competently as they can. It doesn’t matter.

The key is what they're doing and the approach the government has taken...

Put the engineers and professionals to work on some real effective and affordable transit and development solutions and actually begin to address the environmental mess and this can all change. However, as long as mega projects, ports, truck transportation, pork for Campbell’s developer friends and asphalt are the major priorities of the government (and there is no indication this has changed) these guys are just shuffling chairs (very professionally) on the Titanic.

Budd Campbell said...

In fact, Gateway will - as predicted - result in more, not less, vehicular traffic in the lower mainland.

That's a clever switch of argument from GHG levels to traffic levels. Cute. But according to the figures you presented, G West, there won't be any material increase in GHG emissions due to Gateway.

I don't think you have any real idea of what's involved here, since this is just an ideological contest over political symbols for you. There's three levels of GHG emissions to consider, today's actual levels, the future levels with Gateway and PMH1, and finally future levels without Gateway and PMH1. If you want to suggest that there's a fourth level to consider, future levels without Gateway but with $250 trillion in transit measures, well sure, why the Hell not, eh?

And if you're going to refer me to the "transit alternatives" paper that SPEC authored, {"Transportation for a Sustainable Region: Transit or Freeway Expansion?" [http://livableregion.ca/pdf/Transport_for_a_Sustainable_Region.pdf]}
please, don't bother. Their proposed queue jumper wouldn't work and they know it. Under current congestion levels they would have to spend a couple of hundred million dollars on that item alone just to get it past all the traffic on 152nd Street, then over its own ramp across the highway, and then down the hill to the bridge, all in its own dedicated and elevated busway, all so that it could do what? Join the crowd? Good thinking, G West, you're really into efficiency, eh!

Furthermore, the SPEC transit alternatives paper tipped its real hand when it condemned the WCExpress service on page 15 as a tool of urban sprawl:

"Paul Mees' assertion that commuter transit and large Park & Ride facilities often contribute to automobile dependant sprawl and inefficient transit systems should also be considered. Therefore, improvements to regular transit which runs from early morning until late in the evening should be given priority, rather than commuter transit which only operates during peak commuting times. Transit investments should primarily serve people who get to transit by foot or on bicycle, thereby giving more residents the choice of owning a car or not. Park and ride facilities can be part of the system, but should be small facilities close to residential areas so the drive to transit is short."

I have heard condemnations of the WCExpress service by Westside, Richmond (esp Greg Halsey-Brandt), Burnaby, and North Shore types since the day it started. They say it costs too much, SPEC says it causes sprawl, etc., etc. They all really mean one thing and one thing alone. It's too good a service for a bunch of second class suburbanites in the Tri-Cities and the North Fraser Valley who weren't able to afford to buy in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby or the North Shore.

The rest of what they put out is just chatter designed to hide their true intentions. They want to cancel the WCExpress service and instead extend the Evergreen line to the Ridge Meadows area over the new Pitt River Bridge. That way it will take us an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes to get to Downtown. And that's what they want to do, to make travel from the suburbs as slow as possible so as to maintain as high a price premium as possible on residential properties located closer to Downtown.

G West said...

Naw Budd, I haven't posted any figures - I just said that if there is a 2.1% increase WITH gateway it's pretty hard to square that with the BS from the government that overall GHG emissions will be down 20% by 2020. The point is that Falcon has been spouting utter nonsense about Gateway leading to a ‘reduction’ in GHG and it is now revealed as complete baloney.

There isn’t going to be any reduction because Gateway itself means that the chief mode of transportation for the next 15 years is still going to be personal vehicular and transport tractor and trailer.

That's all. The point simply is that increasing the size of the funnel (cause in my view that's all gateway does) is not going to do anything about the GHG effects of what goes through that funnel.

The engineers can draw all the plans for all the roads in the world - the only way to get GHG emissions down is to get people OFF the roads and into other forms of cheap, comfortable and efficient transportation that do not create as much pollution per person/km travelled.

All the rest of this is just noise.

Gateway has everything to do with commerce and playing nice to Campbell's friends and zip to do with addressing the state of the environment - which is exactly why Bill's speculation in this article is interesting.

If there had been something real and substantive from the professionals in the public service there would have been something real in the budget - instead, all we got was talk - subbed out to some flak from the bureau of public affairs...now there's a likely source of gas.

Even that phony promise about all new Govt vehicles being hybrids after the end of fiscal 2006 was a lie. Look around you at the new (07) vehicles the ministry of highways staff are driving.....

Anonymous said...

Budd, Your "stereotypical" response to "pandering to the industry" is foolish. The phrase has simply to do with the fact that we in the south of Delta have been told that instead of 3500 trucks a day which we now have, we'll get 5000. We not need the pollution. Get acquainted with the consequences of the Deltaport expansion and don't rush to judgment so quickly.

Budd Campbell said...

Naw Budd, I haven't posted any figures - I just said that if there is a 2.1% increase WITH gateway it's pretty hard to square that with the BS from the government that overall GHG emissions will be down 20% by 2020.

G West, according to the source document you're citing, and which I am so sure you have a copy of at your finger tipe, what is the GHG situation in 2020 without Gateway? Is it any different?

G West said...

You don't mean this piece of bumpf do you Budd?

http://www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca/PDF/BC_Energy_Plan.pdf

I bet a good portion of the public affairs bureau spent their energy on it - producing absolutely nothing substantive.

Surely it's not the 'media' professionals you're batting for Budd.

And have a look at this too:
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/air/climate/cc_plan/actions.html

Pay particular attention to items 6 - 8 and 34 and look again at that commitment to hybrid vehicles...Then take note of the Ministry of Transportation's new pickups...

This is not a real plan, Budd, it's smoke and mirrors - which is why Carole Taylor blushes everytime she's asked where the beef is when it comes to actual spending on the environment....

G West said...

By the way Budd, I just heard Erin Airton on CBC radio admit that Gateway is NOT a green strategy - despite what Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell are calling it.

Can that be the last word on this turkey?

Budd Campbell said...

I must say, G West, I kind of amazed that you provided any links at all. The first one didn't work. The second one was some kind of government good deeds laundry list that has nothing to do with the issue of GHG emissions with and without Gateway.

Budd Campbell said...

Good morning G West!

I think I have the link you may be looking for:

http://www.eao.gov.bc.ca/epic/output/documents/p247/d24666/1189031210771_a472fd1478e9414c83aed4d70a214df5.pdf

This is Chapter 9 of Vol 2. - Biophysical Studies - in the Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Port Mann/Highway 1 Project, submitted by the BC Ministry of Transport to the Environmental Assessment Office earlier this month.

Please see page 9 - 48 and Table 9 - 13 to find these figures:

2003 GHG emissions = 6,696 kilotons/year
2021 GHG emissions without Gateway = 8,261 kt/y
2021 GHG emissions with PMH1 = 8,366 kt/y
2021 GHG emissions with all Gateway elements = 8,437 kt/y

The additional contribution of either PMH1 or indeed all Gateway elements is very small compared to the ambient increase that will occur without the project.

G West said...

Try again Budd:
http://www.energyplan.gov.bc.ca/PDF/BC_Energy_Plan.pdf

The first one is a pdf - lots of glossy pictures. Works just fine for me - as long as you have adobe reader installed.

The second one - yep - you're right about that and that was exactly the point - no Gateway - because even an idiot wouldn't pretend Gateway has anything to do with reducing GHG emissions.

Maybe you can speak to Colin Hansen, Kevin Falcon and the Premier.

And, as Bill and I have been trying to tell you, Gateway and the environment are oil and water.

Hardly news.

G West said...

So, in very simple plain terms, Budd, there is NO WAY that Campbell's target (at least relative to vehicular traffic in the lower mainland) of a reduction in GHG is going to happen. The connection between green and gateway is nonsense and, furthermore there will be a significant increase in the contribution transportation makes to the overall loading in the next 15 years.

For the green plan to be anything more than shiny pdf bumpf there is going to have to be enormous reductions in every other contributory category before 2020.

Agreed?

As I said, even someone like Bill’s 24-hours colleague Erin Airton wouldn’t try to make that case. I hope someone in the public affairs bureau reads Bill’s blog – maybe they’ll get the news to the Premier.

Now we're done!

Bill Tieleman said...

The following News Release has been issued by Get Moving BC and sent to me. I am happy to pass it along:

"Get Moving BC

For Immediate release

September 24, 2007

GET MOVING BC STANDS BEHIND POLL RESULTS DESPITE DISSMISSIVE REACTION FROM BURNABY MAYOR

Burnaby, B.C. – Get Moving BC is standing firm behind the validity of a poll showing 72% of Burnaby residents support the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the widening of Highway 1.

Burnaby’s Mayor Derek Corrigan has dismissed the poll’s findings and called into question the poll’s credibility saying it’s “laughable.”

“It’s regrettable that Mayor Corrigan has rushed to judgement and is being so quick to dismiss the poll and its findings,” says Sheri Wiens – a Mission soccer mom, Vancouver business woman and a member of Get Moving BC’s Advisory Board. “I can assure Mayor Corrigan that the poll was conducted fairly and scientifically and it was conducted by a professional market research company.”

The poll of Burnaby residents was conducted by NRG Research Group, a leading North American public opinion and market research company, with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg and associated offices in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Austin, Texas. NRG provides leading-edge market research and public opinion polling services, strategic consulting, and analytical services to clients in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide.

NRG was formed in 2005 from the merger of Western Opinion Research and Nordic Research Group, two companies whose combined legacy as leaders in the field of market research and public opinion research totals over forty years.

“NRG’s work on this poll has been impeccable,” says Wiens. “The questions they asked were fair and very straightforward. Anyone who looks at them will be able to see that for themselves, and I certainly hope Mayor Corrigan takes a second look with an opened mind.”

NRG Research Group’s national practice is managed by Dr. Brian Owen who also oversees the company's internal operations from bases in Vancouver and Winnipeg and serves as President of NRG Research Group. Previously, he founded Western Opinion Research Ltd. (WOR), one of NRG's predecessor companies, and was the firm's President and CEO. Over a twenty-five year period beginning in 1981, Dr. Owen established WOR as one of Canada's leading market and public opinion research firms.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Owen has managed hundreds of major research projects in Canada and the U.S. His expertise includes public opinion and public affairs research, corporate issues management, messaging and fundraising research for cultural and hospital organizations, and research for retail companies.

For the past 30 years Dr. Owen has studied and taught strategic management. As a Professor he taught business strategy for 25 years at what is now the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Owen earned his Ph.D. from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, and holds undergraduate and Master of Agricultural Economics degrees from the University of Manitoba.

NRG Research Group conducted the poll of Burnaby residents during the week of September 10th to 14th 2007. Three hundred randomly selected Burnaby residents were interviewed for the poll.

A random sample survey of 300 respondents is considered representative of the underlying population from which it is drawn within +/- 5.7 percent 19 times out of 20.

The results of Get Moving BC’s poll are available in their entirety on Get Moving BC’s website at www.GetMovingBC.com.

– 30 –

Get Moving BC is dedicated to holding governments accountable for a balanced transportation system and was formed to provide a voice for the majority of Greater Vancouver residents who support improving our roads, bridges and transit systems.

For more information please contact Get Moving BC’s media desk at 604-678-5567 or by email at info@getmovingbc.com"

Budd Campbell said...

I tried your link again, G West, and it still didn't work properly, but neither does mine because this blog hoster program is cutting off the tail ends of links.

However I have given you enough detail to find the EAO link to Vol 2 of the MOT submission.

With or without Gateway, GHG emissions will rise, and by very nearly the same amount. To someone whose total motivation is pure politics and ideological politics at that, analyses such as these admittedly carry little weight.

But so what? Surely that's the whole point. Obtaining "buy in" from emotional and impulsive people on the outer fringes is neither necessary nor desirable.

On the contrary, a modern democratic policy formulation process focuses on reasonable people, and reasonable people do find these kinds of projections useful in formulating rational decisions.

G West said...

Budd, it's just not reasonable to promote more freeway lanes bridges and more vehicular traffic as being any part of a RATIONAL plan to tackle GHG emissions, Period.

I don't care how well the components are designed; aligned, financed and promoted...the idea is absurd. That doesn't mean the engineers who calculate the dead loads, establish the critical path for construction and calculate the stresses for post-tensioning aren't doing a good job (although the example of the Coquihalla does make one wonder a bit). The point is simply that this whole Gateway thing hasn't a single aspect about it that can be anything but a joke from a 'green' point of view.

You're right about the software cutting off the urls though.

Bill Tieleman said...

Vancouver Sun municipal affairs reporter Frances Bula reports today that "Councillors from Metro Vancouver's northeastern suburbs are anxiously awaiting Premier Gordon Campbell's annual speech to municipal politicians this week, hoping he'll announce full funding for the rapid-transit line to their area."

Bula continues: "Some people have heard that 'billions' for transit will be announced. Some have heard that the northeast sector's planned Evergreen Line will be rejigged to create a stop at Riverview, where Housing Minister Rich Coleman has ambitious plans for the site of the former psychiatric hospital, and a spur across the new Port Mann to Guildford."

We'll see Friday if my sources have been accurate on this and also on the prediction of 1000 non-market housing units for Vancouver.

Barbara Williamson said...

I want to see the evidence to support Bill Tieleman's statement about how the Tsawwassen First Nation will use land removed from the ALR and then returned to them.
Barbara Williamson