Peter Ladner refutes Burrard Bridge "lies"

NPA councillor and mayoral candidate Peter Ladner says he is the victim of a "whisper campaign" that paints him as favouring shutting down traffic lanes in favour of bicycles on the Burrard Street Bridge.

Ladner made these comments after the Straight asked about the two-term councillor’s June 1 blog post at under the headline "Burrard Bridge can’t lose transit capacity". Ladner faces off against Mayor Sam Sullivan for the party’s nomination on Sunday (June 8). He said he had to state his support for widening the sidewalks and retaining the current road space on the bridge because he was getting comments about it "all the time".

"Somebody has got a little whisper campaign going that people shouldn’t vote for me because I have this agenda to shut down the Burrard Bridge," Ladner said by phone from City Hall. "It is a big sore point with a lot of the West Side folks, as you can imagine.”¦They say I want to take out lanes of traffic and replace them with bicycle lanes."

Ladner added: "Somebody is out there telling lies about my position on the Burrard Bridge, and it is making me crazy."

On July 19, 2005, Ladner voted in favour of then–COPE councillor Fred Bass’s motion to support a six-month trial that would convert two traffic lanes to bicycle and inline-skating lanes on the Burrard Bridge. However, Ladner later reversed his position.

Ladner would not speculate on the source of the whispers, saying: "You can figure that out as well as I can."

Questioned about Ladner’s talk of a whisper campaign, Sullivan told the Straight, "I don’t know anything about that.

"I know he did it [voted for bike lanes] once, but now he is solidly supporting maintaining them [traffic lanes] open," Sullivan said.

Asked if he has a contingency plan, such as running for provincial office, in case he loses the nomination, Ladner replied, "I don’t need one.

"That is another one that keeps getting spread around: ”˜Peter is only doing this because he wants to get a leg up for a run at the province.’ I have never expressed an interest in running for the province.”¦Right now, I have no plans for after June 8."

If he loses to Ladner, Sullivan said he plans to "endorse him 100 percent and work with the caucus to make sure they are happy with him being their leader and to campaign with him and for him".