SkyTrain is one of TransLink's biggest projects

Premier pokes TransLink beehive

Metro Vancouver voters will have choice of several funding options, including status quo, Christy Clark says

Premier Christy Clark stirred up debate over her government’s promised referendum on Lower Mainland transit financing this week, suggesting voters will have the option of saying no to additional fees and taxes.

In a year-end interview with Black Press, Clark cautioned that Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Metro Vancouver mayors haven’t worked out the referendum question yet. But she has a specific idea of the referendum that she promised repeatedly in the election last spring.

“My expectation is generally that people will be able to choose amongst a number of options, one of which will be status quo,” Clark said. “But it’s not going to be a yes or no option. There will be a number of options, so it will mean that people will need to do a little bit of homework, thinking about what they’d like to pay for and how they’d like to pay for it, or whether or not they’d like to just keep the status quo.”

The NDP opposition jumped on apparent contradictions between Clark’s version of the referendum and those of Stone. Clark has indicated the province will be neutral as taxpayers vote, but Stone has said he will advocate for new financing for roads and transit.

The referendum is contentious with Metro mayors, who face an election next November that may include the referendum. Metro Vancouver residents already pay a transit levy on their BC Hydro bills, extra fuel taxes and tolls on newer bridges, and proposals for car and parking taxes have ended some municipal careers.

NDP TransLink critic George Heyman said it’s clear that even though the Metro Vancouver mayors have not agreed, “the premier has already decided what voters will be choosing from, when they will do it, and how the results will be interpreted.”

Clark said predictions that any new revenue-collecting measures will be rejected are presumptuous.

“I think this argument that if we make the mistake of asking the public, they will inevitably say no, is kind of insulting for people,” Clark said. “I think we should take more opportunities to ask them and consult them.”

 

 

Just Posted

Mathieu Caron leads Chilliwack Chiefs to shutout win over Wenatchee Wild

Chilliwack’s netminder stopped 29 pucks Saturday night in a BCHL Showcase game at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read