Michael Ignatieff puts a Liberal shine on the Canada Line

The Straight

By Charlie Smith

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is trying to have his party take credit for construction of the $2-billion Canada Line.

Ignatieff also praises former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, now a Liberal senator, who relentlessly promoted the project. It probably wouldn’t have been approved by the TransLink board if Campbell and his then-COPE colleagues didn’t replace then-councillor Fred Bass on the board with councillor Raymond Louie.

Ignatieff obviously doesn’t know a great deal about the history of the Livable Region Strategic Plan, which was created while he was living abroad. Metro Vancouver regional planners wanted conventional light-rail to form a T connecting Coquitlam, New Westminster, and Vancouver.

It was a good plan and it was affordable. But senior levels of government intruded and insisted on a far more expensive SkyTrain-style Millennium Line and Canada Line. That has contributed to sharp increases in transit fares and property taxes, as well as the regional transportation authority’s grave financial woes.

Don’t expect Ignatieff or any other Liberal to fess up to this during the next federal election campaign.

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