Unintentionally, NDP wins toll tax narrative
It was a promise made during the '17 election campaign that if the NDP won the election, they'd scrap tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges. They contend that the tolls were unfair and punished commuters south of the Fraser River with unusually high fares.
They argued, correctly, that the high rates would trigger commuters to seek alternative routes to avoid tolls; and with Jedi-like foresight, traffic and congestion on the Pattullo and Alex Fraser bridges has spiked in response.
The BC Liberals in turn savaged the NDP position, calling it reckless. But as it turns out, the outgoing BC Liberal government mis-classified the debt drawn up to cover the operating costs and construction of the bridges as self supporting. It's not and the Auditor General called out the government on this as early as 2009. But, don't let facts get in the way.
How wrong were the BC Liberals? Wrong enough that they spun backwards in a 180° to make an 11th hour pledge in their own Throne Speech to scrap tolls as well, despite their campaign opposition to the idea.
To complete the BC Liberals hypocrisy, they're now attacking the NDP for a policy that (former) Premier Clark has literally campaigned for *and* against.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Dr Weaver's position in defending the Campbell era tolling policy that is clearly flawed.
The whole province carries the load of infrastructure around the province. All BC taxpayers cover the costs of the new Sea to Sky Highway; the inland Island Highway; Kelowna's new bridge (and proposed new bridge); the Okanagan Connector (97c) freeway. That's what we do as a province. All of us, together.
So, politicians who play the "why should folks from [region] pay the costs of infrastructure for 'over there'?", they're playing a cynical game that attempts to play one region against another. That's what separatists do. And any provincial politician engaging in that should be disqualified from office.