The Times Colonist published an editorial about the Gabriola Bridge study today. It begins:
Thorough public consultation has the potential to save a lot of money and headaches. When the B.C. government received a petition in 2014 supporting a bridge to Gabriola Island, the Transportation Ministry agreed to a $200,000 feasibility study.
“The signal we have received from Gabriola Island is significant: Almost 700 signatures from an approximate population of 4,000 is a pretty significant number,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone in announcing the study.
If Stone can be swayed by a 700-name petition, how will he react to a pair of petitions bearing the names of nearly 3,400 people opposed to a bridge? Or is “significant” only in the eye of the beholder?
The two petitions were presented in the legislature last week by NDP MLAs Doug Routley and Claire Trevena. They come too late to stop the feasibility study — it was commissioned last fall and the results are expected to be released soon. But the petitions send a strong (dare we say significant?) signal that most Gabriolans don’t want the bridge. It’s hard to see a government proceeding with such a project in the face of that much local opposition.
It’s worth reading the whole article.