Playing political poker with bridge tolls

But is it a good idea?

Over the weekend, the B.C. Liberals and NDP played some pre-election political poker with bridge tolls.

Sunday, the Liberals opened by promising to cap bridge tolls at $500 a year if elected, a move that would save drivers using the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges between $1,000 and $1,500 per year.

Later that same day, the NDP raised the stakes by promising they would eliminate the tolls altogether.

The BC Green Party refused to play, saying toll cuts would only encourage more single occupancy vehicles.

Clearly, the two main provincial parties believe there are votes to be had by offering cheaper bridge crossings.

As election bait goes, we’ll admit, an offer that would save commuters hundreds of dollars is attractive.

Who wouldn’t be happy to see that kind of cash funneled back into their wallet?

But whether it is a good idea is not so clear.

Preliminary estimates put the annual cost in lost revenue to government in the tens of millions.

As Langley City mayor Ted Schaffer pointed out, it’s all very well to chop tolls, but the money to pay for building those bridges will still have to come from somewhere.

And if turns out to be from general tax revenue, expect push-back from people in other parts of the province who won’t be happy if some of their tax dollars are paying for bridges they don’t use.

If that produces a predictable retreat by whatever party happens to have won, toll reductions may turn out to be a mere bluff.

Just Posted

Gators top ’Cats in all-Langley Fraser Valley final

Walnut Grove junior girls continue strong play over past month by winning Fraser Valley banner

Rebels beat road-weary Giants

Vancouver was playing fourth game in five days

VIDEO: Pedestrian hit in Langley City

Unclear if responsible vehicle remained at scene

History for Spartans

First-time in program history Trinity Western women’s basketball team has advanced to Canada West semifinals

Annual Langley bird count numbers drop

Bad weather likely cause, organizers say

Update: Langley gas station robbed (with video)

Incident on Glover Road draws massive police response

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Late-winter snow storm blankets Lower Mainland

Some areas got up to half a foot of snow

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Most Read