Letter: A recent Times Colonist editorial had the headline “Gabriola bridge study premature”

Tuesday, May 19 2015

The anti-bridge petition referred to is supported by the NDP/Islands Trust policy of no bridges to the Gulf Islands. NDP MLAs Routley and Travena (NDP transportation critic) support the current Islands Trust policy of “no bridges to the islands” in the Islands Trust, notwithstanding the existing bridge between the Pender Islands. This petition takes the position of “no bridges” without taking into account the potential of economic and social feasibility.

This NDP official policy is in place in the absence of any information regarding the costs and potential economic benefits that a bridge may provide. In my opinion, this demonstrates the meaning of the word “ignorance.” When the NDP first gained power in the Dave Barrett years, the stated policy of the NDP was to build a bridge link to Gabriola Island (Hansard, 1980) without a feasibility study but with the stated inference that a less expensive transportation option would be beneficial to the NDP constituency on Vancouver Island.

The first petition by the Gabriola Island bridge supporters last May was successful at getting Minister Stone to undertake a feasibility study of the costs and benefits of a bridge link, but the NDP complain that the cost of the study is too high. Really? The indebted state of BC Ferries and continuing demand for more subsidies make a case for the feasibility study. Our group will wait for the study to be released.

Sincerely, 

Jeremy Baker, Gabriola Island (41 years)