Public pollution, private profit

This was published with a large photo from the camp on the center of the Letters Section in Friday's Surrey Leader:

Re: “Road opponents camp out,” The Leader, April 27.

The camp and occupation against the South Fraser Perimeter Road and Gateway Project are much needed and welcome initiatives.

In addition to the many social and environmental harms resulting from the freeway development identified in your article we might add another, less obvious, impact.

The road represents a massive transfer of wealth upwards, away from services for working people and the poor to a hand-out for corporations and developers.

It is a classic public-private partnership, in which the public and communities bear responsibility and cost for impacts such as pollution, land and water degradation, while private interests keep all the profits.

At the centre of P3 developments in B.C. is Kevin Falcon, former transportation minister and newly minted finance minister who has roots in real estate and development.

This particular P3 project has seen, and will continue to see, public funds used to assist land speculators, developers, multi-national companies and the oil industry.

It can and must be stopped and the current occupation deserves support.

Dr. Jeff Shantz
Department of Criminology
Kwantlen Polytechnic University