Johnson Street Bridge Victoria BC Canada

This website is one step of an awareness campaign. We are Victoria and Capital Region residents who believe the fate of the Johnson Street Bridge is an issue of vital importance, affecting our city's transportation systems, finances, and governance. Our goal is to provide a central information platform, with news and opinion from all sources, so citizens can make informed decisions about how to proceed with the most expensive infrastructure project in Victoria's history.

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Open Letters to Leadership Candidates and Transportation Minister calling for Rail on the Johnson Street Bridge

E&N parlour car at the Johnson Street Bridge, 1925. BC Archives photo F-05357

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, johnsonstreetbridge.org wants to see rail included on Victoria’s new Johnson Street Bridge.

To date, the government of British Columbia has remained largely silent about the new bridge, and has refused to commit any funds to it. We believe this must change. A commitment of funds from the province at this time would help ensure that rail is included in the project.

Therefore, we have sent the following letters to all leadership candidates for the BC Liberal and NDP parties, and to the provincial Minister of Transportation and her deputy, asking for their financial commitment to the new bridge. We will publish their replies on this website.

Dear BC Liberal and NDP Leadership Candidates,

We are directors of johnsonstreetbridge.org, the group that gathered 9,872 signatures from Victoria residents in 2009 to force a referendum on the City of Victoria’s plans to borrow more than $40 million for a new Johnson Street Bridge.

On November 20, 2010, 60% of Victorians who voted in the referendum approved the borrowing. We have accepted this result.

In October 2009, the Government of Canada announced that the new bridge project would receive $21 million in federal infrastructure funding. In December 2009, however, provincial transportation minister Shirley Bond advised that the Province would not contribute to the project “as a decision was made to spread investments in infrastructure to communities throughout the region rather than provide one very large award to the City of Victoria.”

It has since become clear that our region considers the Johnson Street Bridge to be an important regional project. In October 2010, the Capital Regional District (CRD) identified the bridge as the region’s #1 priority for gas-tax funds distributed through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. This February 16, the CRD will also hear an application from the Island Corridor Foundation for $5.5 million to include rail on the new bridge.

Therefore, if you become leader of your party, and premier, will you commit provincial funds to the Johnson Street Bridge project?

We have asked this question of all the leadership candidates for both parties, and will publish responses on our website. Its readers are your voters. We look forward to your reply.

With kind regards,
johnsonstreetbridge.org

Dear Minister of Transportation Bond,

We are directors of johnsonstreetbridge.org, the group that gathered 9,872 signatures from Victoria residents in 2009 to force a referendum on the City of Victoria’s plans to borrow over $40 million for a new Johnson Street Bridge.

On November 20, 2010, 60% of Victorians who voted in the referendum approved the borrowing. We have accepted this result.

In October 2009, the Government of Canada announced that the new bridge project would receive $21 million in federal infrastructure funding. In December 2009, however, you advised us that the Province would not contribute to the project “as a decision was made to spread investments in infrastructure to communities throughout the region rather than provide one very large award to the City of Victoria.”

It has since become clear that our region considers the Johnson Street Bridge to be vital to a future of sustainable transportation. In October 2010, the Capital Regional District (CRD) identified the bridge as the region’s #1 priority for gas-tax funds distributed through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. This February 16, the CRD will also hear an application from the Island Corridor Foundation for $5.5 million to include rail on the new bridge.

Losing the rail link into downtown Victoria does not fit with B.C. government’s statements on supporting sustainable transportation. We ask that the Province assist in funding the Johnson Street Bridge rail component. Failing that, the Province should at least provide an explanation to the public why it refuses to do so.

With kind regards,
johnsonstreetbridge.org

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