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Harper and Campbell praise B.C.’s $1 billion perimeter road

SURREY, B.C. -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Gordon Campbell were in Surrey on Monday, heaping pr...

SURREY, B.C. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Gordon Campbell were in Surrey on Monday, heaping praise on the $1-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road project, according to a story in the Vancouver Sun.


“This announcement is not a road project, but is about where we are headed as a country,” Harper said at the Fraser Surrey Docks deep sea port facility, while plugging the Conservative government’s infrastructure spending plan.


It was previously announced that Ottawa would provide $365 million for the project, and the province $635 million. It will be built by a private-public partnership. The private partner will be selected later this year.


Major construction on the new highway – a 40-kilometre route that will link port, rail and industry facilities to existing highways – is expected to begin in 2010.


Outside the port property, a couple of dozen protesters waved placards, citing environmental concerns about the entire Gateway Program bringing “more big ships, big trucks and big highways” into Metro Vancouver.


Campbell said he would be surprised if support for any project was unanimous. However, he said the benefits of this one were the 7,000 jobs it is estimated to create by 2021, increased trade with the Asia-Pacific, and an easing of congestion so goods can move through the region more efficiently.


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