Should we shovel more coal into the New West Pier Park Express?

Post by Christopher Bell in

4 comments

Royal Hudson in New Westminster circa 1975 (courtesy: TrainBoard.com)
Royal Hudson in New Westminster circa 1975 (courtesy: TrainBoard.com)

Clang! Clang! Clang! The New Westminster Pier Park train blasts past flashing warning signal after flashing warning signal as the locomotive engineer yells, “More coal! More coal! Keep the throttle wide open!” The train’s passengers are oblivious to the hazards ahead as train porters draw down the window blinds while repeating the refrain, “We’re on schedule and everything is under control.”

Clang! Clang! Clang! “More coal! More coal! Keep the throttle wide open!”

A first warning signal clangs in February 2009 when an environmental study paid for buy the City Of New Westminster espouses a total remediation cost of $1.5 Million. The City announces that the environmental hazards are known, remediation prices fixed and they had negotiated a discount on the purchase price. New project managers soon realized that a complete detailed environmental test had not been done and have now spent the last year testing for toxic soil, contaminated sediments, off-site contamination and toxic vapours. Is there is no joy in the ‘latest’ Detailed Site Investigation report as it is not being made public by the various parties involved? Is the truth out there?

Clang! Clang! Clang! “More coal! More coal! Keep the throttle wide open!”

A second warning signal clangs in March 2009 when the City (before they bought the site) paid an engineering firm to assess the integrity of the old pier. The City is told the pier was at the end of its life and would have to be replaced. Yet, the Mayor still went to the Federal and Provincial governments saying the entire pier park would be built for $25 Million. Our City Manager recently reported that the city did not know, until very recently, that the pier was at the end of its life. Did they even bother to read the pier condition report?

Clang! Clang! Clang! “More coal! More coal! Keep the throttle wide open!”

A third warning signal clangs in 2010 when the City suddenly announces that it was never their intention to build the whole park for $25 Million but rather half now and the rest in phases. We now know the whole park will be a $62 Million adventure with no promise of further funding. Why was the public not given a full and open admission from the beginning (and at public workshops) that it never was possible (nor the city’s intention) to complete the whole park in the first place? Why are contamination reports not being made public?

The Westminster Pier Park train passengers are feeling uneasy as the train lurches violently from side to side. The passengers no longer trust the soothing words of the train employees who continue to coo, “All is well. We’re on schedule and everything is under control.” The passengers raise their window blinds to see for themselves what hazards may lie ahead. Flashing red signal lights race by their windows!

Clang! Clang! Clang! “More coal! More coal! Keep the throttle wide open!”

Lord help us all!

- post by Christopher Bell. Christopher is a New Westminster resident and train lover.

4 Comments

The Pier Park project is out of control.
The whackjob self-promoting mayor is out of control.
The majority District Labor Council supported, managed and controlled are serving primarily the unions.
Same as the majority of the School Board.
Send in the Comptroller, PLEASE!!!!

Wayne is a very close friend of mine and he is one of the most honest men I know. He was a little off on his budget projections for the new park but he can pass that on to the tax payers of New Westminster. He should also receive a raise himself for the job he is doing. It's a real shame he missed out on the opportunity for the garbage burner that also would have been ideal for the New Westminster waterfront.

Why is it that the Royal City Record is silent on all of this mismanagement and deceit? The paper has an Editor that by all signs and appearances has retired, they are cheer-leaders for the City. At least the NewsLeader Editor does some analytical opinions and some critiques.
Could it be that the answer lies in the fact that the Record has the contract for the advertising for the City?

Nice picture, but that engine is not the Royal Hudson.

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