Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits construction site of new Translink Seabus
August 05, 2021
ESQUIMALT, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited the Victoria Shipyards, where workers have recently finished work on the MV Burrard Pacific Breeze, the latest addition to Vancouver’s TransLink SeaBus fleet. The long-awaited new SeaBus was made possible in part by funding provided to the City of Vancouver through the Harper Government’s Gas Tax Fund.
“Our government will continue to support Canadians who use public transit,” said the Prime Minister. “That’s why we introduced the Public Transit Tax Credit for transit users. It is also why we make gas tax money available to municipalities – so they can invest in the transit solutions that Canadians deserve to see. This new SeaBus is one more example of how we are working together to create jobs today and improve quality of life for years to come.”
The MV Burrard Pacific Breeze, TransLink’s third passenger-only ferry, can carry up to 400 passengers at a time. It will go into service in December 2009, to allow time to train the crew on the new technology and configuration of the wheelhouse.
“This new vessel will reduce commuting times, traffic congestion and vehicle emissions by taking more cars off the road,” said the Prime Minister. “It will enter service just in time to help accommodate the visitors who arrive in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The Gas Tax Fund is a tripartite agreement between Canada, British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, delivering infrastructure funding to local governments for capital projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Gas Tax Fund Investment in the TransLink SeaBus
SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry that crosses the Burrard Inlet, connecting downtown Vancouver with the North Shore. Each ferry can seat up to 400 passengers at a time, and one departs every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening.
There are two terminals: Waterfront in downtown Vancouver, which connects with buses, SkyTrain and West Coast Express; and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, which connects with an extensive network of North Shore buses. Crossing time is 12 minutes.
SeaBus is owned and operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company and is part of TransLink's integrated public transportation system.
Work on the SeaBus was done at Victoria Shipyards, which can handle a variety of construction, conversion, maintenance and repair; recent new construction projects including an eight vessel series of Orca class training vessels for the Canadian Navy, and 24 – 47' Motor Life Boats for the Canadian Coast Guard.
On July 24, 2009, the latest TransLink SeaBus was officially christened the MV Burrard Pacific Breeze. At 33.5 metres long and almost 12 metres wide, the MV Burrard Pacific Breeze will carry up to 400 passengers and will go into service in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Burrard Pacific Breeze will officially enter service in December 2009, to allow time to train the crew on the new technology and configuration of the wheelhouse.
After the Games, TransLink’s two other vessels – the Burrard Otter and Burrard Beaver – will take turns going into dry dock for re-fits, to be brought into line with the MV Burrard Pacific Breeze's technology. In 2011, it is expected that all three will be available for service during peak periods, thereby increasing capacity by 50 per cent.
The Harper Government, through the Federal Gas Tax Fund, has invested $5 million in the new SeaBus. British Columbia provided $5 million to the project through its provincial transportation plan, while TransLink provided $15 million.
ABOUT THE GAS TAX FUND
The Gas Tax Fund is the largest component of the $33 billion Building Canada Plan. It provides stable, predictable funding to municipalities in support of environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure projects such as green energy, public transit, water and wastewater infrastructure, and local roads.
The Building Canada Plan delivers $8 billion ($2 billion per year) in new predictable funding for sustainable infrastructure in Canadian cities and communities. From 2007-08 to 2013-14, municipalities will receive a total of $11.8 billion in gas tax funding.
In response to ongoing requests for stable, long-term funding, the Harper Government announced in Budget 2008 that on April 1, 2009, the Gas Tax Fund would be extended at $2 billion per year beyond 2013–14 and become a permanent measure. This allows all municipalities, both large and small, to better plan and finance their long-term infrastructure needs.
The Gas Tax Fund is part of an ongoing commitment by the Government of Canada to create jobs and stimulate the economy through investing in modern public infrastructure. It is also an example of all levels of government working together to improve infrastructure and the quality of life of Canadians.
Gas tax funding is provided through negotiated bilateral agreements, between the Government of Canada and each province and territory, as well as the City of Toronto. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities is the delivery partner in the province.
For more information on the Gas Tax Fund, please visit:
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