Last November, Port Moody mayor Joe Trasolini expressed fears about the future of the proposed $1.4-billion Evergreen Line to Coquitlam in an interview with the Straight's Travis Lupick.
I notice that Trasolini echoed those concerns today in the Vancouver Sun.
There's a good reason for Trasolini to ramp up the pressure now. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is putting the final touches on his January 27 budget, and the Port Moody mayor would no doubt like a firm commitment for some federal funding.
So far, the Conservatives' point man for the region, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, has managed to duck criticism for the failure to deliver rapid transit to the Tri-Cities area.
The reality, however, is that Moore was the Conservative transport critic from 2001 to 2004 while the debate over the $2-billion Canada Line took place.
Moore never criticized the notion of putting a north-south line to the airport at the front of the queue, ahead of a line to Port Moody and Coquitlam.
When the Straight asked him about this at the time, Moore said decisions over the routing should be left to the region, even though the feds were sinking hundreds of millions into the deal.
Guess what? Moore was later elevated to become the federal minister responsible for the Olympics--a role he filled until Parliament was dissolved before the last election.
My bet is if Moore had stood up for his constituents back during the early debates over the Canada Line, he might never have become the minister responsible for the Olympics.
But the Conservatives made a tactical decision to support the Canada Line, perhaps because they had their eyes on Raymond Chan's Liberal seat in Richmond, which the Conservatives eventually won.
The Olympics was really about moving major capital projects to the front of the queue--including the $628-million upgrade of the Sea to Sky Highway, the $800-million convention-centre expansion, and the $2-billion Canada Line to Richmond and the airport.
These megaprojects were not getting the green light on their own merits prior to the decision to try to lure the Games to Vancouver.
Moore would have sabotaged his political career if he had upset the boys at the Vancouver Board of Trade by getting in the way of this kind of spending. He stayed silent about all of them, including the Canada Line.
Taxpayers will be paying for these projects long after the 2010 Olympics become a distant memory.
And one day, Tri-Cities residents stuck in gridlock might realize the reason they don't have rapid transit is because their politicians foolishly thought that if they kept their mouths shut about the Canada Line and if they just waited long enough, their turn would come.