Time to get on the ball for rail bridge

Victoria is full of people who espouse the benefits of living centrally.

Despite being some of the poorest people in the region, people in the City of Victoria pay higher housing costs for the privileges of living within an easy walk, bike or drive to work and play.

People living on the West Shore, on the other hand, have sacrificed central living for the promise of cheaper, bigger houses a few kilometres away. The crawling commute is a continued gripe and many are calling for a commuter transit service, like the one proposed along the E&N rail line.

But when it comes to funding, the municipalities along the rail line — Langford, Colwood, View Royal and Esquimalt — balked when Victoria council asked them for a contribution toward the rail component on the new Johnson Street Bridge.

Despite the knowledge that a refusal risked nixing rail altogether, they collectively decided to pass it back to the Capital Regional District, further delaying the project.

The question is, should the funding contributions come from 13 CRD municipalities or only communities with a direct stake in commuter rail?

There is some indication that Victoria flubbed its communication with the West Shore and Esquimalt. Why did the mayors hold a rushed meeting just days before Victoria council’s vote on funding the rail bridge?

These delays are racking up big bills and Victoria residents will be the ones to pay the cost even though they won’t be the ones to benefit. Victorians are unlikely to ever ride the morning downtown-bound train or the late-afternoon train to Langford.

On Feb. 16, the CRD board will decide whether it wants to share a $5.5-million contribution to the $12-million project.

If the CRD doesn’t want to pony up, West Shore municipalities and Esquimalt should re-examine Victoria’s funding proposal quickly — allowing the rail bridge to disappear would be a major mistake for the region.

Just Posted

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Supreme Court Judge rules medicinal marijuana company must vacate farm in Central Saanich

Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc must vacate no later than Aug. 31, 2019

Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

Recent investment in bus fleet expansion doesn’t slow studies into alternative transportation routes

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read