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When will we see shovels?

February 8th, 2009 · 5 Comments

There was much talk about shovel-ready projects to get the nation moving again when the budget was announced Jan. 27.

But no one quite knows yet when or how those projects will roll out. I checked with both Surrey and Vancouver in the last week and neither has heard yet what the process is going to be for getting that money.

In Vancouver, head engineer Tom Timm says the city has some projects ready to go, especially the strengthening of the Granville Bridge, which is already going out to tender. The city was looking for cost-sharing on the $5-million project, but is waiting to hear how to get it. Also on Vancouver’s list: 1. Some cycling/greenway projects; sewer projects, especially the ongoing effort to separate the storm and sanitary sewers throughout the city; and the replacement of some small bridges over the Grandview Cut around Nanaimo.

But neither Timm nor the mayor’s office out in Surrey have heard yet whether the federal government is going to ask that all projects get one-third of their funding each from federal, provincial and city levels or if it’s half and half or what.

Which is all strange, considering that Langley already heard earlier this week about federal dollars that will be flowing its way for a major project, as the Advance reported.

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  • Dave

    As far as the actual cost of a “shovel”, buying locally is by far cheaper, because back in the 1970s BC Tel always bought their shovels from Ma Bell for four times the cost locally.

    What the company was doing was sending the profit line down for local investors and giving the parent company a shot in the arm for their shareholders.

  • Denis

    The folks in the area in and around Victoria, have been trying for years to light a fire under someone to get the E&N railbed upgraded to give commuter traffic up and down the islanda rail option. Lots of shovel work there. Money? Not so you would notice.

  • coldwater

    Not surprising. Langley is Conservative and Vancouver is not. Let’s see how much infrastructure money comes to the urban areas that don’t vote Conservative.

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  • T W

    The whole problem with the stimulus packages, here and elsewhere, is that there seems to be very little effort on the part of our elected representatives, at all levels, to show us poor taxpayers the contrast between benefits and costs of proposed projects.

    Instead we are been fed carefully selected pieces of information by managers and elected officials with little evidence of careful analysis other than political expediency.

    Transparency and accountability are surely needed if we are to burden future generations without any central facts being evident to the present generation.