Open letter to MP Taylor Bachrach
I’m confused. Why would you tell your constituents that we’re getting huge amounts infrastructure funding from the Liberal Federal government, when it’s not true? Your faulty data analysis says that each person in the North Coast Regional District is receiving sixty-five times as much infrastructure funding per capita than people of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District. Anyone living here knows that’s not our reality.
Almost all the funding in Northwest B.C. that you’re celebrating went to a small number of industrial construction and commercial transportation mega-projects. These projects don’t directly improve the life of your average rural resident. They do generate tax revenue for all British Columbians. Tax revenue that disproportionately goes to urban areas.
These projects should be excluded from your analysis. When you consider the remaining funding, Rural British Columbians get much less than people in urban areas for the infrastructure that impacts our daily lives.
Nearly 80% of North Coast Regional District funding was directed to three Prince Rupert Container Port construction projects. Nearly half of Regional District of Kitimat Stikine funding went to two projects- a commercial truck weigh station in Terrace and the Stewart Port. Almost all the Central Coast and Stikine RD funding went to something nearly everyone else already has- high-speed internet. (Would you be pointing out what a great deal First Nations communities are getting for clean drinking water infrastructure?) Your analysis shows that the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako is underfunded, which was ignored in your press release. In Vancouver, most funding goes towards projects that do improve the daily lives of Vancouverites. For example, they received nearly $1.7 billion dollars in transit infrastructure funding. This alone accounts for more than the Federal government’s investments in Rural B.C.
Residents of the Skeena Bulkley Valley riding aren’t benefiting from privileged infrastructure funding levels from the Federal government. Please correct and retract your press release and start fighting for fair and equitable infrastructure funding that your constituents deserve, but currently aren’t getting.