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'Please sir, we want some more'

Squamish's great expectations have given rise to hard times. Well it sounds like Squamish will play Oliver Twist to Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon's Mr. Bumble.

Squamish's great expectations have given rise to hard times. Well it sounds like Squamish will play Oliver Twist to Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon's Mr. Bumble.This week in an open letter, Squamish received a reply to its request that the Ministry of Transportation builds a navigable culvert under Highway 99.Having the audacity to say, "Please sir, we want some more," Squamish was told in no uncertain terms, to stop being so greedy. I can imagine the discussion in the hallowed halls of the legislature as Mr. Falcon scurries to his boss, "Premier Campbell, Premier Campbell, I beg your pardon, sir! Squamish has asked for more!" They break into song (it's the musical version after all) and the Premier tells his little minion to remind Squamish of all they've already got.And what have we received? Well, there are "improvements to the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park." What a novel idea that the provincial government should provide amenities at provincial parks. What arrogance of the taxpayer to expect their tax dollars spent on public resources.Then there's the "construction of a new grade separated intersection...[with] a road from Loggers Lane to Government Road." How gracious that highways department would build roads.How greedy of us in Squamish to expect anymore from our Lords and Masters in Victoria.Finally, the Minister has offered that his ministry has "facilitated a contribution to the District of Squamish" for a valley trail. Note that they've not made any contribution of any kind simply "facilitated" it, but nevertheless, let me say on behalf of all Squamish, "Thanks for everything you've done for us!"But it was Minister Falcon's contention that safety was his motivation for not supporting the water trail that made beer spew from my nostrils as I fell off my chair. The water trail, the minister worries, might be unsafe because it would include a portage over the CN Mainline and the crossing of two municipal roads. My guess is that kayakers and canoeists would probably be able to figure out how to safely cross a railway track given six-year-olds have to do it everyday between downtown and Squamish Elementary, but perhaps the good Minister is concerned that one of those trains may just tip over and cover the kayakers in caustic soda. After all, since the Liberals gave BC Rail to CN, their track record hasn't been so good.It's more galling that the same ministry that has allowed a year of commuting-from-hell for non-motorized Valleycliffe residents, and has just put in another "Hail Mary" crosswalk at Brennan Park, would worry about the rather pedestrian thought of people walking across a municipal road, but Minister Falcon insists that this is too dangerous "for children or families." He's either a fool or woefully uninformed.The arrogance that this government displays in its dealing with other levels of government and communities is absolutely appalling. For the Minister of Highways from Surrey to pretend that he has a better understanding of the needs of this community is patronizing and insulting. I had assumed this kind of arrogance of government had disappeared during the 20th century, but I guess in B.C., these really are Victorian times.

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