The unfortunate truth is, it really doesn’t matter how you vote on the transit plebiscite. If this referendum fails, which it likely will, it will be pushed through as a property tax increase anyway.

Here’s a refreshing solution to the Lower Mainlands transit woes: how about ‘ol Jimmy Pattison reforms Translink before taxing the entire province for improved transit in the Lower Mainland?Translink

Better yet; how about taxing private industry? I’m referring to the type of industry that exploits our non-renewable natural resources, in return for nonexistent (or minimal) public benefit. Hasn’t the oil and gas industry received enough tax breaks and credits? Don’t even get me started on the startling low price that Nestle and other businesses pay for water in this province.

Our neighbouring American municipalities to the south, in both Seattle and Portland, offer free light-rail transportation around their downtown core. Back in Vancouver, we want to impose yet another goods and services tax increase to expand and “improve” service. (Correction: Portland’s free public transit zone ended in 2012, after 37 years. Afterwards, it switched over to the regular fare rate.)

It should go without saying, this is a tax that will hit our low-income earners the hardest. Of course, it’s not as if our mayor is truly concerned about low-income earners anyway, contrary to what he said in 2008. Remember this, Gregor?

Here are some important points to consider:

  • How much (public) money is being spent by local municipalities to promote the ‘yes’ vote?
  • Being critical of the current plan does not mean you are against green initiatives, or a selfish old person.
  • All the taxpayer-funded spin-doctoring won’t remove Translink’s accountability issues. Your tax dollars are going to an organization who have mismanaged, and gone over-budget on all of their major projects over the past decade.
  • A Broadway subway in Vancouver will cost nearly double that of a high-speed light rail system.
  • That new Pattullo bridge they keep talking about? Your tax dollars are going to go towards it, but it undoubtedly will be a toll-bridge once it’s completed.

TransLink_SkyTrain_departs_Stadium-Chinatown_station_in_Vancouver,_British_Columbia,_CanadaOur system is broken, and public ignorance and general Canadian apathy seems to be at an all-time high. It’s time we make politicians more accountable to their constituents, ensuring they make fiscally responsible decisions. A sales tax increase for transit is most definitely not the solution.

Don’t worry about me, I’m moving away anyway.