NEWS RELEASE · 31st October 2010
Delaney: All British Columbians are required to subsidize Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton residents and vacationers
Port Coquitlam – An expose by Boundary Sentinel blogger Laila Yuile reveals that the BC Government signed a contract with the S2S Transportation Group - the builder of the newly renovated Sea to Sky Highway - requiring BC to pay a hidden “shadow toll” on that highway for the next 25 years.
Delaney says a “shadow toll” is a toll paid by the provincial government to the road builder from general revenues, rather than a direct toll paid by motorists. He says the government is required to track the number of motorists who use the highway, and to remit regular payments to S2S Transportation Group for each car that uses the highway.
“That means people in Fort St. John, Cranbrook, Prince Rupert and even in the Okanagan where they had a direct toll on the Coquihalla Highway for over 20 years, are paying to subsidize Vancouverites to drive to their chalets in Whistler. It is unbelievable that everyone else must ‘pay as they go’ except the friends and insiders of Gordon Campbell’s Liberal party.”
Delaney says the Sea to Sky rebuild was supposed to be toll free, but once again the BC Liberal Government is deceiving voters with accounting tricks and hidden deals.
“We were told we needed to have that highway rebuilt in order to get the Olympics. But when the Olympics came, they closed the highway and people had to take buses to Whistler. Now we find out everyone in BC is subsidizing the cost of this upgrade in a ‘shadow toll’.”
“We call on Premier Campbell to come clean on this secret Sea to Sky tolling structure. We call on him to tell British Columbians the details of this toll and how much it will cost taxpayers. British Columbians also deserve to know if there are plans to implement similar ‘shadow tolls’ in future,” said Delaney.