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EDITORIAL – North Shore business ED indulges in election scare tactics

 

Roundabout is contemplated for exit from airport onto Tranquille Road. (Image: Armchair Mayor file photo)

An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

FEAR-MONGERING is a common occurrence in election campaigns and this one is no different. The BC Liberals fear-monger about tax raises if the NDP wins; the NDP fear-mongers about exactly the same thing if the Liberals win.

It happens at the local level, too, the latest shameless example being comments by Steven Puhallo, executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Association.

Puhallo has headed up a very worthwhile project to improve the Tranquille Road corridor from the airport into the City. It’s been under study for years, with cost being a major concern.

It’s now at the point where it should move forward — it’s a modest version compared to the plan that was originally proposed but it would certainly help first impressions when people arrive in Kamloops by air and drive towards town.

But Puhallo, in a CFJC Today story this week, has raised the specter of the project once again being put on the back burner should the NDP defeat the Liberals. The reason, says Puhallo, is that Kinder Morgan has pledged financial support for the project, since the pipeline goes through the area near the airport before it crosses the Thompson River.

Puhallo’s reasoning is that NDP leader John Horgan opposes Kinder Morgan’s twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If the NDP wins, and succeeds in stopping the expansion, Kinder Morgan’s donation money wouldn’t be available, he reasons.

Puhallo, as it happens, is a loyal BC Liberal, having worked within the party for many years, and having contended for the Kamloops-North Thompson nomination won by Peter Milobar.

He, and the NSBIA, well know that the chances of Kinder Morgan’s project being stopped at this point are about zero. Zip. It’s received its federal approvals and is preparing to begin construction soon.

It’s also worth remembering that the corridor enhancement is a City of Kamloops project, not anyone else’s. The City invited Kinder Morgan into the project because of timing of construction that will be necessary as the pipe is twinned. Outside funding is always a bonus but it’s just that — a bonus.

Sprucing up Tranquille Road is something the City needs to invest in, with or without third-party funding. It will go ahead, with or without it, but suggesting pipeline money might evaporate is a stretch anyway.

So let’s be clear on what this talk of lost funding is really about — just another election-campaign scare tactic.

mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (4705 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – North Shore business ED indulges in election scare tactics

  1. tony brumell // May 5, 2017 at 12:38 PM // Reply

    Apparently Mr Puhallow is convinced thaat the NDP are going to win..ME TOO.Thanks for the support Mike

  2. Betty Oswell. // May 5, 2017 at 12:23 PM // Reply

    I can’t see Milobar caring about any ‘sprucing up’ on the North Shore. Perhaps more will help without him being the mayor. I do agree with the previous comment. There is really not a whole lot that can be done as the city has shortsighted and knowingly allowed too many buildings close to Tranquille Rd.

  3. Kyle trarup // May 5, 2017 at 7:34 AM // Reply

    Normally I feel you are talking from the wrong end of the digestive system but every now and then you say something that makes sense.

  4. Silly politics notwithstanding, “sprucing” up Tranquille Road will unquestionably be another waste of tax dollars, even if disguised with the pretense of a donation. To start with, I will be offering a comparison with the sprucing up of the Valleyview frontage road which actually occurred under your watch as mayor.
    Where those money well spent? Not at all! Simpler routine maintenance, mostly garbage picking and the occasional weed abating intervention would’ve been much cheaper and would’ve achieved much in terms of “sprucing up”. On Tranquille Road much of the ugliness comes from private properties, somewhat outside of City’s control.
    In the Valleyview frontage road case, beside private properties, it is the CP Rail right-of-way and the highway’s shoulders maintenance that are the biggest hindrance to a modicum of decent aesthetics.
    To conclude, the airport grounds themselves are maintained to an incredibly low standards by completely incompetent people.
    There is plenty of money wasted already, more will not make any difference under the present management.

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