The BC NDP announced Thursday another election promise for Surrey residents: Full provincial funding for the SkyTrain extension to Langley.
NDP leader John Horgan announced a three-year $9 billion infrastructure plan that is to include the provincial portion of funding for the second portion of the Surrey SkyTrain extension to Langley.
“As part of this new funding, Horgan committed to completing the entire Surrey-Langley Skytrain expansion project to Langley.”
The money is contingent on the federal government matching the funds.
So far, $1.6 billion is committed to punch the new line out to Fleetwood neighbourhood, including four new stations. The province already committed 40% while the federal government matched that 40% and TransLink, the regional transportation authority, chipped in 20%.
However, to extend the line further, as recently planned, $1.5 billion more is needed.
The NDP did not specify how much money it would commit. A 40% share would be $600 million. Nor was there a time commitment.
“The new Recovery Investment Fund will deliver new roads and expanded public transit across the province. Horgan also announced he would make construction of the Surrey-Langley Skytrain a provincial capital project, ensuring it moves forward quickly to deliver needed service for people in Surrey, Langley and surrounding communities,” noted a campaign statement Thursday.
“Under a BC NDP government, the project will become a provincial capital project to get it completed as quickly as possible.”
In 2019, Horgan said the province would not fund the second extension, as the extra money was designated only for Phase 3 (the last phase) of TransLink’s 10-year regional plan.
The NDP has accumulated a projected $12.8 billion deficit in 2020 due to COVID-19 and added another $2.2 billion this year with new spending promises (not including the annual $3 billion portion of the infrastructure plan).
The party has not announced any changes to its taxation policies.
The funding announcement mirrors another major infrastructure funding announcement from last election.
In 2017, Horgan promised to remove bridge tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges. This added to government debt. The Horgan government then pulled the plug on replacing the George Massey Tunnel, which he BC Liberals promised to replace with a tolled, 10-lane bridge.
The provincial election is October 24 and mail-in ballots can be requested at Elections.bc.ca, an independent and non-partisan office that oversees elections.