Anti-Gateway rally to greet Stephen Harper, Gordon Campbell

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Stockwell Day will join B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon this afternoon (January 12) at 2 p.m. to make an announcement regarding the South Fraser Perimeter Road component of the Gateway Program.

According to a press release, Ben West, healthy communities campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, activists and local residents will join forces to express their opposition to the highway-expansion project at the south entrance to Fraser Surrey Docks (11060 Elevator Road). They’ll meet at 1 p.m.

“Minister Falcon says Gateway is ”˜shovel-ready’, but the Gateway Project really is definitely not shovel-worthy,” West said in the release issued today. “This current Gateway plan means more big ships, big trucks and big highways throughout the region, with increased pollution, sprawl and carbon emissions impacting everyone.”

In the same release, Surrey resident Tom Jaugelis said the announcement is being made at the Fraser Surrey Docks “because this project is really about more trade passing through our region than it is about reducing congestion”.

“In fact, Gateway will actually end up causing more congestion for folks in the entire Lower Mainland,” Jaugelis said.

West noted that Campbell has committed to reducing B.C.’s greenhouse-gas emissions 33 percent by 2020.

“Yet if he allows Gateway to proceed, climate changing emissions will increase tremendously on his watch,” he said.

“Far more jobs could be created by investing in public transit and the end result would be better for all of us,” West added.