Taxpayer Logo

Official site of the
CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION
a citizens advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes,
less waste and accountable government.

[$description:substr(start="0",length="10")]
[$description:striptags():escape():substr(start='0',length='150')]
[$description:striptags():escape():substr(start="0",length="150")]

BC: Questions the Media Should Ask TransLink's Mayors Council

December 09, 2014
BC: Questions the Media Should Ask TransLink's Mayors Council

On Thursday, TransLink mayors will gather and laud transit, motherhood and apple pie (while studiously avoiding the word “TransLink”) and announce that they want regional taxpayers to shell out another 0.5% in Provincial Sales Tax to pay for $7.5 billion in TransLink (er, “transportation” – again, they won’t say “TransLink”) infrastructure.

But there are some vital questions the media, on behalf of taxpayers, should ask these TransLink mayors:

1. The $7.5 billion plan relies on at least $1.56 billion in federal money - none of which has been agreed upon by Ottawa. What happens if/when they say no to various projects? And are the mayors really suggesting that these federal infrastructure dollars for the region flow to TransLink – at the expense of Metro Vancouver and individual municipal sewer, water and other projects?

2. The plan uses cost estimates that even TransLink VP Bob Paddon say are out of date – and taxpayers won’t be told the real numbers until after we vote. What happens when (inevitably) TransLink’s cost estimates go up? More taxes? Cuts to the plan? Is this the beginning of the ol’ Bait and Switch (which TransLink is a master at – ask Derek Corrigan and Malcolm Brodie)?

3. Precisely who is paying for the services of high-priced consultants Kirk & Company, and for “Mayors Council executive director” Mike Buda? What is the cost to taxpayers? What kind of contract is it? Was it tendered?

4. Precisely how much of our money is TransLink planning to spend to convince taxpayers to support this tax? We’ve heard the number $4 million has been floated behind closed doors by some TransLink mayors… is that true? Will a “NO” campaign be eligible for a share of that money? Shouldn’t TransLink remain neutral, and leave the politics to the YES and NO campaigns? Why should taxpayers stand for TransLink spending $4 million of our money to try and buy our votes?

5. If TransLink is so broke, how can they afford Kirk & Co., Mike Buda, and a massive war chest for this campaign?

6. Is it wise for a government agency to double its debt load? To move from paying $1 of every $12 in revenue in debt servicing to $1 of every $6?

It’ll be an interesting first quarter of 2015, as the TransLink goliath looks to crush taxpayer opposition to its record…

By
on January 21, 2015
Is there any way of knowing how much is being collected for transportation in the lower mainland in BC through taxes? It all seems to disappear into general revenues. Fuel tax at the pump, extra fees on bills for fuel, tolls from bridges, surtaxes and leveys? It would be nice to know the total amount which is being collected but never earmarked for transportation. Another item: The problem with a new Portello Bridge. It would appear that the mayor of New Westminster is never happy to see increased traffic travel through his burg. But for the traveler it is even worse. New Westminster is one of the oldest cities in the lower mainland. Their road system is inadequate to handle any increases in traffic. Better to upgrade the road system in New Westminster beforehand to handle increases from bridge traffic.

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

LEAVE A COMMENT

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

Sign in to leave a comment

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

You have the power to change who influences politics in our country: big unions, big corporations and government-funded special interest groups can be challenged by the contributions of thousands of individual taxpayers who care to make a difference.

FEATURED PETITIONS

JOIN US

Join over 81,000 Canadian Taxpayers receiving our Action Update newsletter. I understand that I may unsubscribe at any time.

RECEIVE THE TAXPAYER MAGAZINE!

“False Alarms”“Message Delivered”
The Taxpayer