Tear down the viaducts? Not so fast, says Todd Stone

Hasta la vista, viaducts

Plus, your vegetables are getting a lot more expensive and Metro Vancouver seeks to get rid of an expensive tunnel digger

Deleting the viaducts
It took only a few hours after the city of Vancouver voted to tear down the viaducts for Todd Stone, B.C. minister of transportation and infrasructure, to throw some water on the plans. On Wednesday, Stone told reporters that Vancouver should “cool down” on its decision to tear down the viaducts and that “nothing is a done deal.” The city’s plans transect the property of the BC Pavillion Corporation, the owner of BC Place, and provincial land. And those two entities had been insufficiently consulted, said Stone. After pushback from Gregor Robertson, who said city staff had met with PavCo eight times over the past two years, Stone doubled down with two more reasons on Thursday: the province is also concerned about the effects on the new super hospital and access to the highway.

But before crying conspiracy—Stone and the BC Liberals understandably want to change the channel on scrutiny over their penchant to “delete, delete, delete ministry records—perhaps it boils down to a difference in philosophy, or so says Anthony Perl, a professor of urban studies at Simon Fraser. “The province still thinks at the provincial scale for transportation, which in most of B.C. outside the Lower Mainland is a road-based, auto-dependant system,” said Perl to News 1130. The viaducts, withstanding provincial consent, are slated to come down in 2017.

B.C. greens
Fresh veggies are getting more expensive in Canada—11.5 per cent on average, and British Columbia is leading the pack. The reason is the weak Canadian dollar, according to the authors of the annual Canadian Food Price Forecast, who also point to climate conditions and catastrophic weather events, the drought in California in particular. But the main reason is still the Canadian dollar. Precipitated by the largest-ever two-year drop in the value of the loonie, the cost in B.C. of fresh vegetables is up 14.7 per cent, red meat is up 12.6 and fish is up 4.8 per cent.

A very boring machine
Are you in need of a $5.1 million boring machine? (as in, it can build a giant tunnel, not put you to sleep). If so, then talk to Metro Vancouver, which is trying to unload its tunnel borer, a rock crushing instrument used most recently to build two water-carrying tunnels in North Vancouver, for at least $700,000. The big ask is the result of a legal dispute between the regional district and the borer’s Ohio-based manufacturer. Interested? You have until February to put in an offer. (The Province)