Langley City Mayor debates Suzuki on Twinning
By Monique Tamminga
Jun 25 2006
Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender went head-to-head with Canadian icon and scientist David Suzuki on the controversial topic of the province’s Gateway transportation plan on CBC radio Friday morning.
At the United Nation’s World Urban Forum taking place in Vancouver, Suzuki said the Gateway program will ‘destroy the region.’
Fassbender, who is a strong supporter of the multi-billion dollar 10-year-project, said Suzuki’s comments go “15 steps too far, creating paranoia.”
“David is trumpeting that Gateway is fundamentally flawed and won’t get people out of their cars.
“I agree it won’t get people out of their cars, but no place in the world has gotten people out of their cars,” said Fassbender shortly after the radio debate.
“What Gateway will create is transit opportunities.
“Most of the development that needs to take place [to create Gateway] is in places that are already developed. There is not going to be cutting down of [forests],” he said.
As for concerns Delta residents have about touching down into environmentally sensitive areas near Burns Bog, Fassbender said these are valid questions. “But to say those people in favour of Gateway are uncaring, it’s hogwash. David Suzuki is a purist. If we lived like purists then we could design around that. But we don’t and so it’s unrealistic to try and say we shouldn’t try and fix current problems, let alone looking into the future.”
The Gateway program is a 10-year project that includes twinning the the Port Mann bridge, expanding Highway One, building north and south perimeter roads through Surrey and Delta, the Golden Ears bridge and transit expansions.
Both Langley councils are on record of supporting Gateway.