Delta South MLA questions government about no records for Massey Tunnel

Victoria, B.C. – Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington questioned the government today about freedom of information (FOI) requests on the Massey Tunnel replacement that returned no records from either the Premier’s office or the Ministry of Transportation.

Premier Christy Clark announced at the September 2013 UBCM conference in Vancouver that the government would replace the Massey Tunnel with a bridge. An FOI request, filed in April 2014 by Delta South constituent Ian Robertson, requested “materials such as documents, data, analysis prepared for the premier to allow her to determine and to announce that the Massey Tunnel would be replaced by a bridge over the Fraser River.” No records were found.

Huntington says the lack of information highlights a trend in the way government handles FOI requests. “Government information is becoming an endangered species in this province,” she said. “Replacing the Massey Tunnel with a bridge will cost at least $3 billion and should be based on detailed documentation and analysis. Instead, we find ‘no records’.”

Huntington says her office made an FOI request to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for 10 years of records preceding Phase 2 of the public consultation period on the Massey Tunnel Replacement Project, which also returned no results. The request was for documents that informed the selection of the five tunnel replacement options, including all discussions with stakeholders, preliminary technical work, and cost analysis.

A separate FOI request by Huntington asked for the business case, along with other technical documentation, for the five options. Instead of a business case, Huntington received 15 pages of traffic analysis, along with a comment from the Ministry about how “a significant amount of work is going into developing the scope and business case for this important project.”

“You would think that $3 billion of taxpayer money would merit more than a back-of-the-napkin analysis. But even then, we received ‘no results’. Delta residents deserve more transparency from their government.”

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