Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail has done an outstanding job of taking the Sea to Sky highway shadow toll story to an entirely new level in the Monday edition of the paper, and managed to get some rather creative answers from both Macquarie and the BC government.
Truly,creative doesn’t even begin to describe what Nicholas Hann, managing director of Macquarie North America had to say in response to Mark’s queries,considering he has been actively involved in teaching business students all about P3′s at UBC’s Sauder school of business for some time. He certainly didn’t have any hesitations in describing those shadow tolls in workshops and lectures!
Here is a tease :
When the Sea to Sky Highway was reconstructed for the Olympics, the government considered paying for the $600-million upgrade through a toll.
But that idea died early. Tolls aren’t popular with the public in general, and tourism operators in Whistler didn’t fancy the idea of having a toll gate looming like a barrier between Vancouver and the ski hill. So it became a toll-free highway.
Or did it?
Laila Yuile, a provocative writer and blogger who keeps a close watch on the B.C. government, has been drawing attention to documents that indicate a “shadow toll” exists on the dramatically scenic highway…
Read the rest of Mark’s column in the Globe and Mail.
May I say, in the short time it has been posted tonight, discussion has been rampant, and very opposing in views of P3′s in general. Wonderfully rewarding to see the discussion and the ensuing email flood!!! I will reply personally to everyone, in time!
Laila Yuile is a journlist and blogger. This article originally appeared in her blog, I'm Laila Yuile and This is How I See It. Reprinted with her kind permission.