MLA criticizes plan to raise Coquihalla tolls
MERRITT, B.C. — A provincial MLA is attempting to put the brakes on an idea that would see Coquihalla Hwy. tolls increased to fund a bridge across Okanagan Lake.
David Chutter, Yale-Lillooet MLA, thought the idea was ludicrous when he heard regional mayors suggesting the user fee increase to help fund the Kelowna bridge.
“Why should people from Merritt or Kamloops be paying for a bridge they’re not using?” Chutter asked local media.
The local mayors, lead by Kelowna mayor Walter Gray, were also planning on seeking a two cent per litre fuel tax increase to help fund the project.
Chutter’s comments hinted that perhaps tolls would be placed on the new bridge, if and when it is constructed.
“(Gray) should be seeking funding for his bridge from the users of that bridge,” says Chutter.
Chutter, who has been digging into the Coquihalla situation, says it appears the toll has yet to pay for the costs of accelerating construction of the highway.
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