[SURREY] It is the opposite result of what the people of Surrey were promised from the Campbell government’s massive highway expansion project known as “Gateway”. A message from Surrey City Councillor Barinder Rasode to citizens opposed to a road being put through Bear Creek Park confirms some of the long held fears of the Gateway 40 Citizens Network. Councillor Rasode’s message was posted on the Save Bear Creek Park facebook site (see attached).
“Citizens were promised that the twinning of Highway 1 and the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, at an upfront cost of more than $5 billion to taxpayers, and thousands of acres of prime farmland and our most sensitive wildlife habitat, was justified because it would take traffic off the streets of Surrey,” says Donna Passmore, spokesperson for the Gateway 40 Citizens Network. “Now that the project has been railroaded through, the truth is even worse than we envisioned. Now the City of Surrey is using the additional traffic volume anticipated from the South Fraser Perimeter Road, to justify putting a road through Bear Creek Park, one of the most popular parks in the Lower Mainland.”
- 2 -
“Gateway 40’s concerns that highway expansion would create more, not less, traffic were dismissed by the BC Government and the City of Surrey,” adds Passmore. “Not even a quarter of the construction is done, and now we are being told that a road through a major regional park is required to offset the impacts. “
The Gateway 40 Citizens’ Network maintains that the cumulative impacts of the Gateway Project were never accurately communicated to the people of Surrey or the region.
“The costs of road construction and loss of recreational and wildlife area in Bear Creek Park are just the tip of the iceberg,” says Passmore. “There have been several subsequent farmland exclusions in Delta that were omitted from the original plan.”
The Save Bear Creek Park Citizens Action Network argues that putting a road through Bear Creek Park will harm significant salmon habitat and wildlife habitat, elevate local and atmospheric pollutants, diminish property values and quality of life for area residents.
“It’s not too late to rethink the South Fraser Perimeter Road, to save our farmland and wildlife habitat, concludes Passmore, “It’s time the people of Metro Vancouver stopped being economically and ecologically held hostage to the asphalt mentality that seems to dominate our local governments.”
Formed in 2006, the Gateway 40 Citizens Network is an affiliation of environmental, agricultural, transportation, labour, faith and community groups advocating sustainable transportation over the Campbell government’s multi-billion dollar Gateway Project.
- 30 -
For more information:
Donna Passmore, Gateway 40 Citizens Network – r) 604-536-2790