A message of hope for the future - for transportation facilities, and for the potential for more general involvement in the democratic process - was well-received at Tuesday evening's Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting.
The message was brought by guest speaker Langley MLA and newly minted Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak.
After applauding the local Chamber for its strong involvement in helping to plan transportation policy for the region, Polak exhorted everyone to take advantage of the introductory toll offer for the new Port Mann Bridge.
As of Tuesday, she said, there were already 19,000 registrations for the decals that will make toll payment easier all around - for drivers, and for toll-collectors.
Early registration brings added benefits, including free crossings and substantial savings for the first year of the bridge's operation, and additional savings for HOV lane users.
The new bridge, she noted, will be the world's widest. When completed to 10 lanes - five in each direction - it will smash the current record, held in Australia by Sydney's 48-metre-wide bridge, coming in at more than 65 metres wide.
She noted also that the new bridge constitutes the largest road infrastructure project in B.C.'s history.
But the best news for Langley was the restoration of the RapidBus service in TransLink's plans, albeit in a smaller capacity for now than originally proposed.
When it's all up and running, Polak said, transit service from 200th Street to downtown Vancouver will take only 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, she also expressed sympathy for the media, who she said has a changing environment and added burdens in relaying information to the public.
But the new media opportunities, from YouTube to Twitter, allow individuals a greater opportunity to be heard and to have an impact.
"One person can put out a video or a Tweet that affects the entire world," she said, and that offers opportunities to enhance democracy.
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