Horgan not invloving himself with bypass issue

Premier John Horgan isn’t weighing in on the bypass issue.

“We’re anticipating to get the (Highway 97 Transportation Study) report shortly,” he told The View last night.

“(Transportation and Infrastructure) Minister (Claire) Trevena will be implementing the findings and it will make life better for people and fix some of the congestion issues.”

When asked if he thought a bypass would be the solution to those congestion issues, he gave another general answer.

“I’m going to see what the report comes back with. I don’t want to prejudge it because a lot of people have put a lot of work into it and I know people in the community have been making their arguments as to why we should do one option over another, but I’ll wait to see what the final report says.”

Former Premier Christy Clark said something pretty similar last spring, only days before flopping with a promise to interfere with the Transportation Study if the her party was re-elected.

“I want to do what the community wants,” Clark told The View on May 2, “and it’s probably going to be a tough decision because I know the community is really undecided about it, but I want to make sure we make the right decision so I’m really trying not to impose myself on it.”

Then on May 8, Clark imposed herself on it.

“I share the concerns of Rose Valley residents with Option 2A, which would place a bypass through Rose Valley Park – a natural wonder and a tremendous local treasure,” she said in an open letter to residents.

The Liberals were defeated in the general election though so all options are back on the table.

Yesterday, Horgan was in the nearby riding of Kelowna West to campaign for NDP candidate Shelley Cook, who’s running in a byelection against former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart. It’s a riding that’s only ever been won by the Liberals, and by wide margins.

But during the rally at her campaign office, Cook said she’s feeling optimistic about her chances this time.

Horgan joked that during a recent trip to Asia, he visited Stewart’s old office in Beijing. Horgan was referring to a $150,000-per-year office job that Stewart was awarded after he stepped down as MLA so that former Premier Christy Clark could effortlessly snatch up his seat.

Also yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “That (Kinder Morgan) pipeline is going to get built.” That butts his head up against Horgan’s, who campaigned on making sure the pipeline doesn’t get twinned.

Even though he feels the project isn’t in the interesting of British Columbians, Horgan says some people have suggested that he can’t stop it from happening.

“Well yes I can,” he said defiantly.

Kelowna West voters go to the polls on Valentine’s Day.

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