Transportation Minister, BC Liberal Candidates Witness BC Liberal Transportation Plan in Action
SAANICH – Transportation Minister Todd Stone visited the McKenzie Interchange construction site along with BC Liberal candidates to review progress on the $87 million project and highlight other key initiatives aimed at addressing congestion and safety on major routes and investments to better serve transit users.
“The McKenzie Interchange Project is a perfect example of government taking action to address a significant challenge,” says David Calder BC Liberal candidate for Saanich South. “This project recently passed the half-way point, and when completed will have a positive impact on traffic flow, and improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”
“While the development of a McKenzie Interchange is one means of addressing the congestion problems that plague the Western Communities, the next step needs to include commuter service along the E&N corridor,” says Cathy Noel, BC Liberal candidate for Langford Juan de Fuca.
In March, the Ministry of Transportation announced it would be undertaking a corridor analysis to look at options and potential opportunities involving the E&N Corridor. A BC Liberal Platform commitment includes completion and assessment of that study.
Barb Desjardins, BC Liberal candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin, says: “We are at a point where there is no option but to move a proposal to reality. Government has been actively engaged with the Mayors, and working to validate there is a solid business case so we can get going.”
A BC Liberal government will also invest a minimum of $25 million over the next two years on upgrades to the Pat Bay Highway and the Malahat.
Steve Housser, BC Liberal Candidate for Cowichan Valley says, “The new investment is in addition to some $34 million already invested in the Malahat and as MLA, I would work with community leaders, public safety officials and Ministry of Transportation staff to determine what subsequent safety improvements are required on the route.”
“The Pat Bay Highway is a route that is experiencing increasing congestion and I view the funding commitment as a first step in an ongoing effort to keep pace with the significant development and growth that we are experiencing along that corridor,” said Calder.
“The other aspect of this challenge is related traffic safety,” says Stephen Roberts, BC Liberal candidate for Saanich North and the Islands. “As MLA, I would work with local governments, the CRD and ICBC to address how we best address high crash sites.”
“The NDP has taken Vancouver Island for granted for too long,” says Stone. “Contrast that with the advocacy of our BC Liberal candidates – our Island Champions – in identifying and developing significant initiatives that are contained in the first ever Island Platform. I know how passionate they are about taking on challenges and advancing solutions – and that is the kind of representation people here need and deserve.”
Today’s BC Liberals are also committed to increasing funding to BC Transit and Handy-Dart services in communities across BC based on population and need and transit usage. The Province, together with federal and local partners, has spent and committed more than $271 million for transportation on Vancouver Island since 2015. Projects include important safety upgrades to highways, intersections and side roads in addition to regular rehabilitation and maintenance. This funding also includes investments in airports, cycling infrastructure, improving transit services, and revamping the Belleville Ferry Terminal in Victoria.