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Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Marvin Hunt is questioning John Horgan’s decision to give his hand-picked union friends an additional $100 million in tax dollars for the four-lane Pattullo Bridge replacement, resulting in less money available for the services that British Columbians rely on.

“Today, the NDP formally confirmed the awarded contract for the Pattullo Bridge replacement, which not only retains the width of the crossing at four lanes but comes with a seven per cent price increase in cost that will be paid for by B.C. taxpayers,” said Hunt. “Leave it to the NDP to replace an already over-capacity four-lane bridge, with another four-lane bridge. Between this and the consistently botched Massey Tunnel replacement, it is clear that this government is out of its element when it comes to fiscal management on projects of this scope.”

The price increase attached to the project is due to the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), a NDP program that forces employees to work for and pay dues to one of the NDP’s 19 hand-picked unions. CBAs result in fewer competing bids, higher project costs and nearly 80 per cent of B.C.’s construction sector being frozen out.

“This project is another example of the NDP’s insiders-only union kickback program, the Community Benefits Agreement, which has added nearly $340 million more to the cost of public projects since its implementation,” said Hunt. “The $100 million increase for the Pattullo could have greatly benefitted Surrey, funding a reduction in portables, 2,500 new student spaces or 700 new rental homes that are desperately needed. Instead, it is being used to pay off Horgan’s union allies.”