Card-carrying B.C. Liberal realtor Rudy Storteboom has denied he is connected to pro-Gateway Web site GetMovingBC.com, which was cofounded by Langley Township councillor Jordan Bateman.
"Get Moving BC I am familiar with, but I am not involved with it," Storteboom told the Straight by phone. "I think township councillor Jordan Bateman might be involved in that. He is a friend of mine."
Storteboom confirmed he is "pro Gateway", sits on the riding association of Langley B.C. Liberal MLA Mary Polak–who is also pro Gateway–and has written letters to community papers stating his position. This has angered Donna Passmore, Gateway critic and coordinator of the Gateway 40 Citizens Network, who has concerns that GetMovingBC.com is a B.C. Liberal shill disguised as a grassroots organization.
The Straight previously reported that Passmore was unhappy that two card-carrying B.C. Liberals–Bateman and Port Coquitlam city councillor Greg Moore–kick-started the GetMovingBC.com site. Get Moving BC accepts donations, but is not registered as a society, and its advisory board and donors are in support of a "balanced" transportation system, according to information in an unsigned e-mail sent from an address on the Web site to the Straight in response to a query for information.
Last May 1, Passmore claimed Get Moving BC was disguising its true intentions. Bateman, vice president of B.C. Liberal minister Rich Coleman's Fort Langley–Aldergrove B.C. Liberal riding association, did not return calls by Straight deadline. However, Storteboom said Passmore is "way off base on a number of issues".
"The problem with people like Donna Passmore is they are using their opposition to Gateway as a political vehicle to try to embarrass the B.C. Liberal government," Storteboom said. "The fact is, we really need Gateway. The folks here south of the Fraser River, their traffic has been tied up in knots for years."
Responding to Storteboom's comments, Passmore said she has "absolutely no political axe to grind", adding that she was part of then-mayor Gordon Campbell's 1990 City of Vancouver Task Force on Atmospheric Change. She claims she helped Campbell out so that he could win accolades for the Clouds of Change report that came from it.
"My views have not changed since that time," Passmore said. "It is the premier who has flip-flopped. He has been totally inconsistent [with his support for Gateway], as has [B.C. Finance Minister and former Vancouver city councillor] Carole Taylor. I'm the one who has been true for over 20 years."