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Could tunnel dawdling lead London Drugs to bolt?

Martin van den Hemel   Dec-18-2018

The president of London Drugs said his company will look at all options for locating the headquarters and distribution centre for London Drugs.

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Monday’s release of a provincial government review of the proposed 10-lane bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel, was met with criticism from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and a major Richmond employer.

The 300-page review suggested another round of consultations and study, and the creation of a new business model by the fall of 2020.

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“We are very disappointed the provincial government has delayed decisions on resolving the movement of goods and people around the George Massey crossing,” said London Drugs president Clint Mahlman. “With this announcement, we have no choice but to consider all options for locating our head office and distribution centre.”

London Drugs’ headquarters are located south of Steveston Highway, near No. 5 Road, a stone’s throw from the tunnel.

“As one of Richmond and B.C.’s largest employers and businesses, this is frustrating and disappointing to be put in this position once again, after years of providing feedback and ideas to the City of Richmond and to the provincial governments in the past,” Mahlman said.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce chair Barbara Tinson echoed his disappointment.

“We have been strong supporters of moving this development forward since 2016, based on very clear feedback we received from our members,” Tinson said. “There are people losing hours of their lives waiting in traffic on Highway 99 every day. That’s time away from their kids, from their families. Richmond is a net importer of jobs and a lot of these workers are coming from the more affordable housing south of the Fraser. Employers in Richmond are losing good people, because the commute just isn’t worth it anymore.”

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Monday that consultations on proposals for a six- or eight-land bridge would begin in 2019.

Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the NDP doesn’t have a plan to fix the largest bottleneck in B.C..

•martinv@richmondsentinel.ca


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