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NEWS RELEASE · 31st October 2010
BC First
Delaney: All British Columbians are required to subsidize Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton residents and vacationers

Port Coquitlam – An expose by Boundary Sentinel blogger Laila Yuile reveals that the BC Government signed a contract with the S2S Transportation Group - the builder of the newly renovated Sea to Sky Highway - requiring BC to pay a hidden “shadow toll” on that highway for the next 25 years. Delaney says a “shadow toll” is a toll paid by the provincial government to the road builder from general revenues, rather than a direct toll paid by motorists.

He says the government is required to track the number of motorists who use the highway, and to remit regular payments to S2S Transportation Group for each car that uses the highway.“That means people in Fort St. John, Cranbrook, Prince Rupert and even in the Okanagan where they had a direct toll on the Coquihalla Highway for over 20 years, are paying to subsidize Vancouverites to drive to their chalets in Whistler. It is unbelievable that everyone else must ‘pay as they go’ except the friends and insiders of Gordon Campbell’s Liberal party.”

Delaney says the Sea to Sky rebuild was supposed to be toll free, but once again the BC Liberal Government is deceiving voters with accounting tricks and hidden deals. “We were told we needed to have that highway rebuilt in order to get the Olympics. But when the Olympics came, they closed the highway and people had to take buses to Whistler. Now we find out everyone in BC is subsidizing the cost of this upgrade in a ‘shadow toll’.”

“We call on Premier Campbell to come clean on this secret Sea to Sky tolling structure. We call on him to tell British Columbians the details of this toll and how much it will cost taxpayers. British Columbians also deserve to know if there are plans to implement similar ‘shadow tolls’ in future,” said Delaney.
A sweet deal.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 1st November 2010
It sounds like a sneaky way to avoid putting a toll on a highway without charging it only to those who use the road but distributing the toll over all BC residents whether they ever drive that stretch of highway or not. In other words it is the province borrowing for the construction from the builder and paying that company back out of general revenue over the next few decades. The borrowing never appears on BC's books and yet the commitment to pay has been signed and sealed. You can bet there is a high interest rate going to the builder.

You might conclude that this is really the first step of privatization of our highway system and you would not be far wrong. Like the sale of BC Rail that was messaged as a long term lease (999 years) this is just as sneaky. We have the liability and the construction company gets a secure investment backed by the taxpayer. A really sweet deal.

The Campbell government is betting no one will ever get worked up about it.
Credit
Comment by Gary Edwards on 1st November 2010
I think it would be nice to credit Blogger Laila Yuile here for her hard work and diligence in uncovering this piece of work. It is also my understanding that there is more to come on her blog.

She was and is given credit in this news release by BC First Party. We added a link to her site on Nov 12.
Why?
Comment by Barry English on 31st October 2010
How come everything that these liberal ,,,##$# do is going to cost the BC taxpayers for twenty five years? Even if we turf them out, we will not be done with the damage they've caused for a very long time.