Saturday, July 4, 2015

BC Transit referendum - a big fat NO! to a new tax

Jordon Bateman, head of the BC office of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation and leader of the NO! campaign explains the huge victory to Ezra:

The referendum was non-binding but you can bet, given the 62/38 result, that politicians will feel bound by it anyway. 


Anonymous said...

Had I lived in BC, I would have voted yes. As much as I hate paying taxes, having a good transit system is necessary for a livable and strong city. People need to realize you want strong infrastructure you have to pay for it while I have no problem with those wanting to pay more taxes, you also should not complain if services are cut back.

JR said...

Then you would have cast your vote to:
(a) reward an incompetent, wasteful, arrogant Translink organization.
(b) set a precedent for a method of picking taxpayers' pockets to fund every manner of wasteful pet project dreamed up by "activists" and politicians.

Do you actually believe that the added tax levy would stay at .5%?

And infrastructure and services will not be "cut back". They will continue to grow and be funded as necessary with economic growth. Politicians for the "Yes" campaign continually harped (threatened) that expansion was necessary to accommodate a million more people in Metro Vancouver by 2100. Well, that growth in population, if it comes, won't come all at once and it won't come without accompanying economic growth.

Anonymous said...

I agree Translink is a wasteful organization but the GVRD still has issues with long commute times and a better transit system would cut down on the numbers using cars thus meaning shorter commuting times. Yes larger population will mean funding will increase, but as someone who has travelled to many cities abroad, Vancouver's transit in many ways is inadequate as it is for its size. The problem is unlike in Europe and Asia, much of the growth was post WWII where labour costs were much higher thus building a modern underground subway network like many large cities have wasn't feasible.

The best idea would be to do what the GTA does and many American metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York do which is use the existing rail lines for rapid transit as that would be the cheapest and most realistic. The problem I see is unless you are really rich or want to stay in a really tiny apartment, it's unaffordable to live in the city proper so if you work in the city that means you are spending anywhere for 1-4 hours a day commuting (that is the time combined in both directions and if you live in Surrey 2 hours each way during rush hour is not unheard of) and that has its negative drawbacks on the economy. I've been to Munich which is around the same size as the GVRD and Helsinki which is smaller and both had far better rapid transit systems than Vancouver. Off course Los Angeles which is much bigger in size is worse.

So my point is we need a better transit system for our current population, not for the expected future population growth.