The Council of Canadians Delta-Richmond chapter disrupted the groundbreaking ceremony intended to mark the beginning of the construction of the Massey Bridge.
The $3.5 billion ten-lane bridge is being built to replace the existing four-lane George Massey Tunnel that goes under the south arm of the Fraser River estuary and joins the municipalities of Richmond and Delta about 20 kilometres south of Vancouver city centre.
The Council of Canadians and allies oppose the bridge over the following concerns: the loss of prime agricultural land to build the bridge, the additional greenhouse gas emissions that come with adding more space for cars, the government’s lack of commitment to public transit alternatives, and the bridge’s $3.5 billion price tag. We are also concerned that the proposed removal of the George Massey Tunnel could affect the salinity of the lower Fraser River.
Chapter activist Robert Ages says, “We had a great little protest. Forced the BC Fiberals to hide inside instead of using their nice power-shovel props.”
Global News reports, “Work is scheduled to begin today on the replacement for Massey Tunnel; a new bridge over the Fraser River. But not everyone is happy about it. The first shovels are expected to go in the ground this morning and protesters were on scene to have their say. The protesters gathered around the crew, using megaphones to make their voices heard.”
Tweets within that article then highlight, “Protesters crash the province’s Massey Bridge ‘groundbreaking’… The transportation minister will have to compete w/ protesters when he arrives. And they have megaphones… Cops here. ‘Groundbreaking’ scrapped. Minister will speak to reporters inside old fire hall… protesters chanting outside.”
CTV adds, “A groundbreaking ceremony for the George Massey Tunnel replacement bridge was forced indoors Wednesday by a group of protesters holding their own mock event. Dozens of people opposed to the project gathered peacefully outside Delta Fire Hall No. 4, where a podium was set up for B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone to speak. Stone was late to the ceremony, however, and a man wearing a mask of the minister’s face co-opted the space, waving an oversized blank cheque made out to ‘Port Metro Van’.”
News 1130 notes, “People, some holding cardboard masks of BC’s transportation minister, were heard shouting, clapping and chanting ahead of the event. ‘We live here. How many of you live in Ladner and Tsawwassen and Delta? Shame! Shame! Shame!’ exclaimed one woman. Some protesters even held a mock news conference at the podium before politicians entered the scene to make their announcement on the $3.5 billion Massey Bridge project.”
And Surrey Now reports, “The protesters, holding signs saying ‘A (Todd) Stone Age Concept’ and ‘Schools Before Bridges’ arrived several minutes before the announcement was scheduled to start and lined the edges of the announcement area.”