ESQUIMALT-JUAN de FUCA: Candidates divided on transit

Transportation woes dominate election fight

In one of Canada’s hottest contests this election, six candidates can’t agree on how to solve the transportation woes of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

Whether it’s rail, an overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway or a move away from gas-powered vehicles altogether, the opinions are as varied as the candidates presenting them.

As Green Party candidate Shaunna Salsman sees it, job creation would eliminate the need to commute. Any commuters remaining should steer clear of the gas station.

“I still see personal vehicles in the future, but I just see clean-energy personal vehicle in the future,” she said. “I don’t think road improvements are a backwards way.”

Those road improvements are the signature priority of Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza, who lost to current Liberal MP Keith Martin by just a handful of votes in the 2008 election.

DeSouza said his plan is to get federal funding for an overpass to cross the Trans-Canada at McKenzie Avenue, but doesn’t stop there. That overpass must have high-occupancy vehicle lanes. That’s the medium-term goal. Long-term, the region needs rail, he said.

“We need integrated transportation that actually works for commuters,” he said.

“I’m also a huge proponent of rail, but in the short term it’s going to be a challenge. … Other candidates are saying we’ve got to choose (between road and rail). I’m saying you could do both.”

Liberal candidate Lillian Szpak said the cost issues associated with an all-encompassing transportation solution could be addressed if the federal government hands 100 per cent of gas tax revenue back to municipalities.

“It would go a long way toward (solving the transit puzzle),” she said. “It would be ongoing sustainable funding.”

Increased gas tax revenues should be handed to municipalities immediately and on the Island, that money would fix the E&N railway to move commuters and freight, said NDP candidate Randall Garrison.

“Those are two things we can do right away,” he said, adding rail is the solution to keeping commuters moving.

Independent candidate Louis Lesosky agreed the E&N is the answer for commuters and said people need to get out of their cars.

Meanwhile, Canadian Action Party candidate Christopher Porter didn’t give a specific vision for the region’s transportation, but said the answer would be found in public forums.

•••

At the mention of the word defence, Porter quickly noted Canada’s border integrity is at risk.

He said outside military forces should not be welcomed too easily into the country and added our own forces should stay at home more often.

Lesosky said the Canadian Forces should stick to peacekeeping missions with the United Nations – and when they aren’t abroad, should pick up a shovel and contribute to food production.

While Garrison said defence spending should favour ships before jets, other candidates said Canada should prioritize both – as long as the money went to the right jets.

“I know we’re all in this together – I’m not going choose one branch of service or another,” DeSouza said.

•••

All six candidates agreed sewage treatment is needed on the South Island and all concurred the Capital Regional District’s current proposal is undesirable.

Before a decision is made and all three levels of government chip in their one-third shares of the nearly $1-billion project, technologies must be reinvestigated to ensure the region gets its money’s worth from the service, they said, including resource recovery.

Porter said the federal government must step in to organize public forums where residents could debate the issue and decide what’s best for the region.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read