The Gateway today
I am currently still in New Jersey and hoping that I will be able to get home tomorrow.
Two things in my in-box I wanted to pass along – neither of which requires much explanation from me.
Patrick Condon has put together a map which shows what $3bn would buy in terms on new light rail for South of the Fraser.
Secondly a press release from gatewaysucks of a civil disobedience campaign just started in Bridgeview to coincide with the coal fired power station protest in Washington DC today
Anti-Highway Activists Join Climate Change Day of Action
by Blocking Demolition of Surrey Home
SURREY – Concerned citizens from both sides of the Fraser River participated in blocking the demolition of a large
house slated for demolition in Surrey’s Bridgeview neighbourhood this morning.
The non-violent act of civil disobedience is taking place as part of a day of direct action drawing attention to activities
that cause climate change in various cities throughout North America. The house in Surrey is in the way of
preparatory work for the South Fraser Perimeter (SFPR) Highway, part of the provincial government’s controversial
Gateway project.Ministry officials plan to lay pre-load sand throughout the neighbourhood so in a couple years the
area will be ready for pavement.
“Kevin Falcon’s Gateway Project is threatening to destroy this community, and outdated freeway projects like this are
destroying our planet,” said Tom Jaugelis, a local resident and spokesperson for the group. “They’re wasting billions of
our tax dollars on this gateway to global warming that won’t even fix our congestion problems. They should be buildinghousing,
and investing in other green jobs like the public transit that Surrey needs right now.”
Today in Washington DC a national coalition of more than 40 environmental, public health, labor, social justice, faithbased
and other advocacy groups plans to engage in what is expected to be the largest mass mobilization on global
warming in the history of the US. NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists is
taking part in the civil disobedience.
The action in Washington is happening at a coal burning plant. In many parts of the US coal plants are the largest
source of greenhouse gas emissions. Here in Metro Vancouver vehicles are the largest source of these emissions, making
up 36% of BC’s overall emissions. According to a report by the Livable Region Coalition the gateway project will
increase BC’s carbon emissions by 30%.
The house in Surrey where the BC action is taking place which is located at 124 St and 116 Ave is the last still standing
in Bridgeview on the proposed route of the SFPR. The working family neighbourhood was targeted early by the
Gateway project, forcing many residents with deep roots in the community to leave.
Bernadette Keenan, who sits on the Board of the Bridgeview Community Association, says “The Port Mann/Highway 1
public-private partnership just collapsed, and this South Fraser Freeway does not even have a preferred bidder yet, so
these projects are obviously a bad investment – economically as well as environmentally. The provincial government
should cancel the misguided Gateway scheme immediately.”
Keenan adds, “They have been trying to industrialize this area with projects like this for decades, but we have fought
back successfully in the past and we are fighting back now.”