Premier Christy Clark ready to impose thermal coal levy

MERRITT— Today at NMV Lumber, Premier Christy Clark announced the measures she will take if necessary to stop the shipment of thermal coal through British Columbia.

“Ideally, the federal government will act on our request to ban thermal coal in our ports – but if they don’t, British Columbia will charge a carbon levy on it,” said Premier Clark. “By doing so, British Columbia will establish the world’s first greenhouse gas benchmark for thermal coal – and make it uncompetitive to ship through B.C. ports.”

Should the federal government not implement a thermal coal ban, a re-elected BC Liberal government will develop regulations under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act to ensure all thermal coal shipped to B.C. terminals is subject to a carbon price – approximately $70 per tonne – that reflects the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the extraction, processing, transportation and combustion of thermal coal through a BC terminal.

“I am hopeful that our federal partners will act on my suggestion – and act quickly,” said Premier Clark. “But if they don’t, and if we are re-elected, I will instruct the civil service to immediately begin drafting the regulatory framework – and impose a levy on thermal coal that will make these shipments unprofitable.”

Thermal coal is among the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive methods to generate power and heat. Last year, 6.6 million tonnes of thermal coal was exported through BC ports, 94 per cent from the United States. The vast majority of coal mined in British Columbia is metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking.

“Banning thermal coal is the right thing to do for BC LNG and biomass producers who can help fill the need for cleaner energy in Asia,” said Premier Clark. “And now is the right time to do it, because while good trading partners cooperate, the United States has launched this unfair assault against key sectors of our economy and the workers they employ.”

John Horgan and the BC NDP’s position is whatever Leo Gerard says it is. Gerard is head of the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steelworkers union paying the salaries of Horgan’s top three campaign staff – the same man who stood beside Donald Trump when he called Canadian workers a “disgrace,” and took the pen Trump used to sign the order as a souvenir.

Surrey man in life threatening condition after being struck by car

A pedestrian is in life threatening condition after being hit by a car in the 7000 block of 138 Street in Surrey Sunday night.

Surrey RCMP say that the vehicle was driving northbound along 138 Street when it struck a pedestrian at the corner of 138 Street and 70 Avenue. The victim was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries.

Police say that the driver remained on scene and is cooperating with police.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or has further information is asked to call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca, quoting file number 2017-39774.

Surreyleader

IHIT investigating after early morning stabbing – Charge Approval against Gurtarn “Tarn” SANDHU

Surrey: On Sunday March 26, 2017 just after 6:00 a.m. the Surrey RCMP responded to a report of a stabbing in the 17000 block of 57th Avenue.  When police arrived, a male victim was located inside the residence suffering wounds received from an edged weapon.  The male victim was transported to hospital, but despite all medical efforts the male victim died as a result of his injuries.  A male suspect was located at the scene by police, and was taken into custody.

As this was quickly deemed a homicide, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken conduct.  IHIT is working closely with the Surrey RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather and review evidence.

The investigation remains on-going, however, investigators have secured a homicide related charge against the male suspect, identified as 27-year-old Gurtarn “Tarn” SANDHU.  Mr. Sandhu has been charged with Manslaughter in the death of the male victim identified as 36-year-old, Jaspreet “Jesse” DHALIWAL.  Mr. Sandhu is scheduled to appear in court later this afternoon.

“This altercation occurred between parties known to each other, and was not random.”  Cpl. Meghan FOSTER of IHIT says, “This matter is now before the courts, and limited information can be provided as the court process will be honoured.”

 

Victim of fatal shooting in Abbotsford was associate of two men previously gunned down

  • by Vikki Hopes – Abbotsford News

The Abbotsford News has learned that the victim of the fatal shooting Friday afternoon on Chase Street is Jaskarn Lally, an associate of two Abbotsford men previously gunned down in gang-related killings.

The shooting took place at about 4:30 p.m. at a home in the 3500 block of Chase Street.

Sgt. Judy Bird said police were called to a residence, where they located a 20-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bird said the incident appears to be targeted.

The investigation is still in its early stages and is being transitioned to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

Lally was previously named in civil court documents that detailed the fatal shooting of Harwin Baringh, 18, in October 2014 on Sparrow Drive.

The documents stated that Baringh was a member of the “Chahil crime group” at the time.

He was in his vehicle with a passenger, when they stopped at the side of the road. A second vehicle, occupied by his associates Lally and Navdeep Sidhu, pulled up beside them, and the two groups had a conversation.

Surveillance cameras later captured those two vehicles being blocked in the road by two other cars, and then gunshots being exchanged among occupants of the four vehicles, according to the court documents.

Three cars fled the scene, but Baringh’s Jeep remained, and he was found dead, slumped over in the driver’s seat. To date, nobody has been charged in his death.

The province’s civil forfeiture office successfully sued to seize two of the vehicles involved in the incident, saying they had been used to “engage in a violent ongoing gang conflict” between the Chahil and Dhaliwal crime groups.

Navdeep Sidhu, 24, also faced a violent death more than two years after Baringh’s killing. He was one of two men found shot to death in a vehicle in Edmonton two months ago. (The other was Harman Mangat, 22, also tied to the gang conflict in Abbotsford.)

large funeral was held for Sidhu on Jan. 19 at the Fraser River Funeral Home in Abbotsford.

Lally had several charges before the courts, including for an incident that occurred in February 2015 in Dawson Creek.

He went to trial on seven firearms charges in relation to what police said was a gang-related shooting.

According to RCMP, a man was abducted, driven to a gravel pit and shot several times in the legs. The man survived and dragged himself to a road, where a motorist picked him up and dropped him at the hospital.

All the charges against co-accused Anthony Larsen were stayed, and a verdict had not yet been issued against Lally in the matter.

Also in Dawson Creek, Lally was convicted of mischief in relation to a March 2015 incident. He was sentenced to a $500 fine, according to the provincial court database.

He was also due to appear April 14 in Abbotsford provincial court to have a one-year peace bond (restraining order) placed against him. He had been charged with assault, but that charge was stayed in exchange for a $500 fine and a peace bond.

Lally’s killing is Abbotsford’s third murder of the year.

Satkar Sidhu, 23, was fatally shot Feb. 20 on Steelhead Court, and the body of Joseph Kellington, 24, of Mission was found March 3 on a property on Ross Road.Police have not released his cause of death.

Anyone with information about Lally’s killing is asked to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Abbotsford Police Department and MedicAlert Foundation Canada announce partnership

The Abbotsford Police Department and MedicAlert Foundation Canada, have established a new partnership to ensure those with autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a cognitive brain injury, who go missing, can be helped by first responders and brought safely home sooner.

MedicAlert Connect Protect gives police officers 24-hour quick access to a registered subscriber’s photo, identity, past wandering history, and other vital emergency information through their MedicAlert medical IDs. This information will help officers search more efficiently, increasing the chances that those who go missing are reunited with their loved ones sooner. Officers called to an emergency involving a MedicAlert subscriber will also have access to vital information which may be necessary to save a life.

“We are excited to partner with the MedicAlert Connect Protect initiative,” says Chief Constable Bob Rich.  “Helping people with these medical conditions when they are lost and confused is a priority for us.  Finding someone who is lost and unable to tell you who they are or where they are from may be a challenge for us, but is a crisis for that person and their family.  This resource helps us find someone who needs to be found and gets that person back to where they are safe.”

“It’s critical that we’re able to find and recognize wandering or unidentified people as quickly and efficiently as possible, both to protect our subscribers and also to save police resources,” explains Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert. “As we continue to form more partnerships with police departments in British Columbia, the MedicAlert Connect Protect service will safeguard Abbotsford residents through the valuable MedicAlert protection. In an emergency situation, the Abbotsford Police will have quick access to vital information that will save valuable time and unnecessary worry from family members and caregivers.”

Thanks to the Abbotsford Police Department and MedicAlert Foundation Canada, the first 100 new MedicAlert subscribers at each of these two locations on each day will get their first year service plan and a MedicAlert ID ($39 value) at no cost.

March 8, 2017                                                March 9th and 10th, 2017

Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (City Hall)             Seven Oaks Malls (near the front of The Bay)

32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford                         32900 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm                                         10:00 am – 9:00 pm

For more information on MedicAlert Connect Protect service and special offers for Abbotsford residents, visit medicalert.ca/connectprotect.

About MedicAlert Foundation Canada

MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA) is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada and it is the leading provider of emergency medical information services. MedicAlert’s mission is to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality health information at time of need. For over 55 years, MedicAlert has protected more than one million Canadians since 1961.

MedicAlert® is backed by robust electronic health records maintained by medically trained professionals, a state-of-the-art secure database, and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline that answers calls from emergency responder personnel in 140 languages within an average of 5 seconds, all linked to customized identification products for Canadians with medical conditions and special needs. Universally recognized and respected, MedicAlert speaks for you, when you can’t™.

Learn more about MedicAlert, how it works, and how you or a loved one can sign up to a service plan, visit medicalert.ca or by calling 1.855.581.3796.

Tax Tips to Help and Tax Scams to Avoid

Vancouver, BC – Tax season is here and BBB offers plenty of tips to help you find a trust tax preparer and to potentially avoid a couple of scams making the rounds in Canada.

“The CRA tax scam was still on our National Top 10 Scams list this year,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “The upside is we did see a drop in that scam, however it came back when the scammers contacted their victims offering to return their money for a fee.”

The CRA scam involved threatening phone calls at all hours demanding a tax repayment or you would be arrested or deported.

“The other good thing, is that according to BBB’s new Risk Index, fewer people are actually falling for tax scams this year even if they are approached,” adds Kelly. “Other scams we have seen are fake emails that look like they come from the CRA or other online tax return applications that actually redirect any government payments or steal information. These we need to be aware of.”

BBB offers these tip to find a trusted tax professional and to avoid getting scammed:

* Check on qualifications. Ask about their training, experience and knowledge of current tax law, and whether they are members of a professional organization with continuing education requirements and a code of ethics.

* Learn about their service terms in advance. Find out whether they guarantee the accuracy of their work and amend the return if there’s a mistake. And find out if they can be reached year round if there is a mistake or are required to undergo an audit, you want to make sure you can reach them after the tax season is complete.

* Ask for references. Get referrals from satisfied clients.

* Check with BBB. Visit www.bbb.org/mbc/ to determine if the tax preparer has a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.

* Request a quote. Ask for an estimate of the preparation fee before authorizing the work.

* Signature. Make certain the preparer has signed it and get a copy and payment receipt for your records. Also review the return before signing it and ask for clarification of any entries you don’t understand.

Each year new scams surface online, promising tax refunds and other incentives to get you to part with your personal information.

Be on the watch for the following tax scams:

* Phishing Scams. Never open or download attachments included with messages claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. Typically, these messages advise the recipient that they have qualified for a tax refund and need to click on a link to enter their information. The link takes the person to a bogus website and requires the visitor to enter personal identification. CRA will not contact you via email. Sometimes this is used to re-direct a direct deposit return.

* Identity Theft. If you’re doing your taxes on your own online, don’t use a public wireless connection. Even using the latest wireless security encryption standards such as WPA2 can be risky, so use a wired connection when dealing with sensitive financial and personal information.

* Malware. Refrain from opening any unsolicited tax-related email message, as some messages can exploit weaknesses in your browser and initiate a drive-by download of spyware or malware without your knowledge.

* The Canada Revenue Agency DOES NOT solicit personal information online or over the phone.

Empowerment, insight and connection at FREE Women’s conference

Vancouver, –    In honour of International Women’s Day,  Vancouver-area women of all backgrounds are invited to take part in a special, free women’s event – the Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair on March 25, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Dr.).

Let’s keep the momentum of women’s issues moving forward with a positive, empowering event that aims to bring women of all backgrounds together to connect, learn and inspire each other. After all, balancing all the demands we place on ourselves as women is not easy. Neither is overcoming the external professional, gender and cultural challenges we encounter.

“Sometimes we need an event like the Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair for an opportunity to be inspired, and gain new insights from other women,” says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine, the presenter of the event. “It’s about learning and making connections, and moving women’s issues forward.”

Here’s an overview of the activities and workshops being offered at the Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair:

9:45 a.m.: REGISTRATION OPENS AT DOOR

10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.: WELCOME plus a special BollyX dance/fitness presentation by Clara Chan

 

10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.: TRADESHOW OF EXHIBITORS, which includes:

  • free Resumé Clinic by MOSAIC

 

  • “Get your Corporate Headshot” station with photographer Maddie Adams

 

  • “Mini Manicure” station by Beauty Night Society

 

  • Women’s Empowerment Art Therapy sessions with art therapist and life coach Nicole Gfeller

 

10:30 a.m.:  TOOLS AND TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR BUSINESS with Alpana Sharma of Women’s Enterprise Centre

11:30 a.m.:  CAREERS WITH THE VPD + SAFETY DEMO with Detectives Andrea Dunn, Michelle Neufeld and Julie Birtch

12:30 p.m.:  BE MINDFUL, BE YOUR BEST with Jasmine Bharucha, realtor, author and singer

1 p.m.:  CONFIDENCE AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO CAREER SUCCESS with leadership coach Manpreet Dhillon

1:45 p.m.: THE WOMAN’S VOICE: SPEAKING TIPS with Catherine Steele of English Pronunciation for Success

2:15 p.m.: NETWORKING TRUTHS, TIPS AND TRICKS with Karen Southall Watts, entrepreneur and business trainer

2:45 p.m.: PARENTING WORKSHOP: THE POWER OF CONNECTION with Cheryl Song, parenting trainer and columnist

3:15 p.m.: CREATING A HAPPY BALANCE with Dr. Nareeta Stephenson of Strawberries and Sunshine Healing Centre

Registration for the event at www.canadianimmigrant.ca/womensfair<http://www.canadianimmigrant.ca/womensfair>.

For a spot in the art therapy group session, please email mjetelina@metroland.com.

BC Liberal govt’s announcement about ‘modernizing’ B.C. taxi industry

British Columbia plans to introduce a series of improvements to help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive in anticipation of ride-sharing services coming to British Columbia by the holiday season at the end of 2017, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone and Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender announced today.

“Over the past year, we’ve had some very important conversations with taxi companies and drivers who told us that we need to ensure fairness so they are able to compete effectively with ride sharing providers. This is why we’ve worked so hard to develop these measures, which reflects what I heard through extensive consultations and will allow ride sharing companies to operate, but also allows the taxi industry to be competitive,” said Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender while talking to the ethnic media at Grandtej Banquet hall in Surrey today.

In recognition of the important and long-standing role of the taxi industry in providing passenger transportation services in the province, the government intends to introduce a number of improvements that will ensure a level playing field in B.C. These include:

  • New app-based technology: The Province will invest up to $1 million to help the taxi industry develop an app with the capability of shared dispatch to allow the taxi sector provincewide to better compete with new entrants to the market, and allow the public to hail and pay for a taxi with a smartphone in the same way that they would for a ride-sharing service.
  • Crash prevention technology: ICBC will invest up to $3.5 million in the taxi sector to install crash avoidance technology in all B.C. taxis. This technology will improve passenger safety and help avoid crashes. An ICBC pilot showed that this technology led to a 61% reduction in at-fault, rear-end crashes and a 24% reduction in all crashes.
  • Insurance products: ICBC has been collaborating with the taxi industry to streamline the claims process, and is committed to working with the industry to improve their insurance to make it more flexible and cost effective, which could save taxi drivers significantly. Depending on the number of kilometres they drive, these savings could be in the range of 25%.
  • Reduced red tape: The Province will work with municipal governments and the taxi industry to remove red tape and overlap within the system, which will save drivers money.
  • Exclusive rights to street hailing for taxis: Taxis will retain exclusive rights to be hired by phone, at a taxi stand or flagged down at the curb.
  • Pick-up/drop-off anytime, anywhere: Ride-sharing companies typically operate across municipal boundaries. To ensure a level playing field for the taxi industry, the Province will work with municipalities and other stakeholders to allow all drivers, including taxis, the same access to provide services wherever and whenever a passenger needs a ride.
  • Open up taxi supply: The Province will work with municipalities to address the current shortage of taxis and vehicles for hire, which will provide more choice, accessibility and opportunity for both consumers and drivers.
  • In addition to these improvements, the Province will require the same safety standards for both taxis and ride-sharing providers in order to protect the public and drivers. As part of this, Class 4 licenses will be phased out for taxi drivers, and taxi and ride-sharing companies will be responsible for maintaining records that prove:
    • All drivers have an unrestricted driver’s licence (no graduated licences) and are at least 19 years of age.
    • All drivers have passed a criminal record check for past convictions of violent or sexual offenses as well as other offenses.
    • All drivers have passed a safe driving record check.
    • Vehicles have passed regular mechanical inspections.
    • Finally, the Province will make sure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect consumers through fair and transparent pricing.

      These proposed improvements are the result of extensive feedback and consultation with stakeholders throughout the province, including the taxi and limousine industry, local governments, business associations, accessibility groups, and transportation network companies. Participants told the province they wanted:

      • A fair system that welcomes new companies while ensuring that existing local operators remain competitive and continue to earn a living wage;
      • A regulated system that protects passengers, drivers and their vehicles; and
      • A modernized system that reduces red tape, unnecessary duplication and provides both consumers and drivers with more choice, opportunity and flexibility.

      Beginning this summer, government will seek additional input from taxi drivers, the ride-sharing and taxi industries, police, airports, municipalities, ICBC and RoadSafetyBC as the Province finalizes its plan in time for the 2017 holiday season.

Saudi King arrives in Indonesia with 1,500 strong entourage for first state visit in 46 years

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The first Saudi monarch to visit Indonesia in nearly half a century arrived Wednesday to an elaborate official welcome and crowds of thousands.

King Salman exited his plane at Halim airport in Jakarta using an escalator, with a portable lift carrying him the final meter or so to the ground.

He was met by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the minority Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is fighting a tough election battle after being charged with blaspheming the Qur’an.

The king was whisked off in a heavily secured convoy to a presidential palace in Bogor, outside of Jakarta, where tens of thousands of people, many of them schoolchildren, lined the route.

According to reports in the Indonesian press, the Saudi royal is estimated to have brought 459 metric tonnes of cargo with him on his trip – including two Mercedes-Benz s600 limousines and two portable electric elevators.

Adji Gunawan of the airfreight company PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) told the Antara news agency that his company had been appointed to handle the cargo, which had arrived in the country before the King. Adji said that his company was employing a total of 572 workers to deal with the Saudi King’s luggage.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Saudi group totals about 1,500 people, including 10 ministers, 25 princes and at least 100 security personnel

Local media reported that statues of naked men and women at the palace would be covered out of courtesy to the Saudi visitors. The same step was taken when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Indonesia in January.

Salman is on a tour of Asian countries to drum up business and improve ties. On his first stop in Malaysia, oil giant Saudi Aramco signed a $7 billion deal to take a 50 per cent stake in a Malaysian oil refinery. Salman will also visit Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives, the official Saudi Press Agency has reported.

The government of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has said Salman’s entourage and related delegations number about 1,500 people. He will spend six of his nine days in Indonesia vacationing on the resort island of Bali, a predominantly Hindu part of the Indonesian archipelago.

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are expected to sign 10 agreements during Salman’s visit, in areas from religion to education and science. Indonesia has said it hopes the visit will result in $25 billion of new investment.

Indonesia practices a moderate form of Islam and has a democratic secular government, but Saudi-funded institutes in the country are known to encourage adoption of a highly doctrinaire interpretation of the Qur’an.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Port Mann Bridge won’t break even until 2025

ROB SHAW (Vancouver Sun)

VICTORIA — The money-losing Port Mann Bridge won’t start turning a profit until 2025 — eight years behind its original schedule, according to newly released government figures.
Financial forecasts for the bridge, provided to Postmedia News, show it is projected to continue suffering tens of millions in annual losses until 2025-26, when it hits a break-even point. After that, the forecast calls for the bridge to start aggressively repaying both its original construction costs, as well as 13 years of accumulated annual losses, before fully retiring the debt by 2050.
The $3.3 billion Port Mann/Highway 1 expansion project over the Fraser River between Surrey and Coquitlam has been plagued by lower-than-expected ridership since it opened in 2012, because drivers have mainly detoured to the nearby free Pattullo Bridge.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone said he remains confident the Port Mann will be paid off by 2050 — when Stone turns 78 — and that he’s heartened by a 14 per cent increase in average monthly traffic on the bridge in the last year.
“I am absolutely confident with the projections and the numbers I see and that I have put in front of me every day,” he said.
“As we said from the beginning of this project, through its construction and to this day, the entire debt related to the Port Mann Bridge project will be paid before 2050. That has never changed.”
The government had originally expected the bridge to be turning a profit in 2017-18, according to Cabinet’s 2010 letter of expectation to the Transportation Investment Corporation, the stand-alone corporation that operates the Port Mann on behalf of the government.
Instead, documents released with last week’s provincial budget project a $90 million loss, in addition to $407 million in losses over the first five years, casting doubt over the viability of a future toll bridge to replace the George Massey tunnel. Government reduced its vehicle traffic projections for the Port Mann in 2014, saying they were too aggressive.
“It’s a financial disaster for the province,” said NDP critic Claire Trevena. She said the projections showing a 2025 break-even date is part of continued “disgraceful” miscalculations by government.
“I don’t believe government’s projections because they’ve got it so wrong for so long,” she said.
The new government figures show what the province hopes will be the bridge’s path to profitability.
“The assumptions behind the numbers are conservative, projecting a much less than three per cent growth in traffic, slow toll rate increases over time, as well as increasing interest rates,” the transportation ministry said in a statement.
“As we’ve mentioned, traffic on the bridge has grown by over five to six per cent a year since 2014 (14 per cent last year), which has outpaced the conservative projections in the model that we’re using.”
The government would not provide exact traffic estimates, or projected tolls, because it said those relate to potential future policy decisions. Instead, its charts refer simply to “cash-flow,” which could be accomplished by increasing ridership, increasing tolls, or some combination of the two.
Stone said the positive bridge traffic numbers led to a recent decision not to raise tolls, which currently sit at $3.15 per regular vehicle.
Daily traffic on the Port Mann varied in 2016, from a low of an average of 103,000 drivers last January to a high of 140,400 in August. The old Port Mann Bridge averaged 127,000 drivers daily. At three per cent annual growth, the amount of vehicle traffic would more than double by 2050.
The B.C. government’s optimism for the future stands in stark contrast to the Port Mann’s current, sobering, financial statements. The bridge earned $145 million in toll revenue last year, which was quickly eaten up by $142 million in interest costs on the debt, $38 million in operating expenses and $53 million in depreciation, leaving an $88 million net loss.
The province points to other major projects as proof they can be paid off over the long term, such as the Oresund bridge linking Denmark and Sweden, which cost 2.6 billion euros and opened in 2000 with a 34-year repayment plan that remains on track despite initial loses.
The transportation ministry also pointed to Highway 407 in Ontario, a contentious tolled structure that cost $1.6 billion to build in 1997, lost money in its initial years and then began to turn a profit before it was sold to a private company for $3.1 billion in 1999.