Note: This story was changed after, sometime Tuesday evening, the NDP amended their platform to replace ‘Fraser Highway’ with ‘Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley.’
The NDP has promised to widen Highway 1 to Abbotsford by 2026. But in making a promise on possibly the biggest issue for residents of the central Fraser Valley, the NDP spent most of the day promising to widen the wrong highway.
Included in the BC NDP’s election platform released Tuesday (Oct. 6) was a plan to “modernize” and widen Fraser Highway from Surrey to Abbotsford by 2026. The plan was included in a plan alongside 60 other promises.
That proposal, posted on the party’s website, said the highway is a “critical transportation link” and needed to be widened to “ease congestion.” More detailed information was not provided.
But the platform had a problem: the NDP promised to widen the wrong highway.
At 6:37 p.m., Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun pointed out on Twitter that the city is most desperate for the province to widen Highway 1. (Somewhat confusingly, Fraser Highway is also in need of widening. But it’s a city-owned road and the municipality has its own long-term plans to alleviate congestion on the route.)
Sometime over the next two hours, the NDP quietly amended their platform to replace the words “Fraser Highway” with “Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley.”
The platform’s mention of the proposal is otherwise identical, saying, “This is a critical transportation link for people from Abbotsford to Surrey – we will modernize and widen it with a completion date of 2026.”
The BC Liberals have also promised to widen the highway, meaning that after years of discussion, construction is likely to start on the project within the next five years.