Gill tells McCallum “there’s no money on the table” for Skytrain extension

Some varying opinions on Skytrain funding during Wednesday’s Surrey Mayoral Candidates Conversation on Pulse Mornings.

When asked by Host Ian Power how candidates would plan on getting the funds to extend the Skytrain along Fraser Highway, Doug McCallum maintained Light Rail Transit (LRT) money would be transferred to the project, the former mayor vowing to scrap the project is elected.

“We’ve already got a commitment from the federal government announced by the Prime Minister about a month ago that the $1.65 billion would stay on the table if we elect a new council that wants Skytrain. Skytrain can be built for $1.65 billion from City Centre out to Langley as evidence of the Evergreen Line which is the same distance out to the Tri-Cities that finished construction last year at $1.4 billion.”

Tom Gill, who is opposed to extending the Skytrain, isn’t buying it.

“There’s no money on the table. The plan that Doug’s offering needs another billion dollars. The provincial government and federal government are simply not at the table to provide any additional resources and I’m concerned we’re going to lose this huge investment.”

During an interview last month on Pulse Mornings, Outgoing Mayor Linda Hepner echoed Gill’s comments.

“We’ve got the money and the commitment is for LRT. I don’t care what kind of blustering you hear from others, that money will not be transferred over to Skytrain. I’ve gotten that directly from the Prime Minister as well the Premier.”

Proudly Surrey’s Pauline Greaves says her party would look to expand the Skytrain as part of phase two of LRT. Funds would be negotiated with the governments in party at that time.

As for Surrey Integrity Now’s Bruce Hayne, he sided with Gill that $1.56 billion isn’t enough to expand the Expo line. He’s promising to pause the project for further review if elected.

“$1.6 billion worth of funding is not going to get Skytrain from City Centre  to Langley City, that’s just impossible,” said Hayne. “What we would do is have a discussion with the Translink Mayors Council on what is possible.”

To listen to Wednesday’s full hour long candidates conversation, click here.