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Locals think Gateway could be the end of their neighborhood

Fearing for the survival of their neighbourhood and their homes, several members of Surrey’s Bridgeview community gathered today to protest the massive Gateway project.

Five or six members of the Bridgeview Community Action Group (BCAG) gathered in front of a condemned house scheduled for demolition on the corner of 116 Avenue and 124 Street.

The group held signs that read, “No truckin’ highway” and “Gateway: the gateway to global warming.”

Bernadette Keenan, co-founder of the BCAG, explained that in the Bridgeview community, 20 to 40 houses are gone and more are to be demolished in the future.

“I am a resident and I am concerned,” Keenan said.

Keenan stated that her Bridgeview neighbourhood could become an industrial zone after construction is finished.

“As a community were very concerned that once this freeway goes in, Bridgeview will convert entirely to industrial land,” she said.

The Gateway project was initiated by Premier Campbell and the Asia-Pacific Trade Council. Its supporters argue that it will expand B.C.’s ability to ship goods to and from the Asia-Pacific region and ease traffic congestion.

According to a report distributed by Small Business BC, “The Asia-Pacific Initiative is government’s vision for strengthening BC’s competitive position as the preferred economic and cultural gateway between North America and Asia Pacific.”

In a phone interview with The Tyee, Bridgeview resident Sonia Nazar explained that Gateway construction cut off her street and then turned it into a truck park/dead end with little to no notification.

“They have knocked down trees and because of it I am hearing industrial noise which I have never heard before.”

She also explained that since construction teams started developing the surrounding forest, rodents have become a problem. Houses in the area have become a target for displaced vermin, she said.

“I never had a rat issue until they knocked down all the trees,” Nazar said.

Morgan J. Modjeski is a staff reporter for The Hook.

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