Opinion: A road to nowhere

The notion that Fraser Valley taxpayers should help ease the financial woes of TransLink is an absurd non-starter.

The notion that Fraser Valley taxpayers should help ease the financial woes of TransLink is an absurd non-starter.

This week, Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin, said that since Fraser Valley residents possibly use the services provided by TransLink, they should pay for them – preferably through a fuel tax. (Make Fraser Valley pay into TransLink, Maple Ridge mayor says)

That member municipalities within TransLink are looking for more money is nothing new. Residents already contribute $235 annually in property taxes, and pay 17 cents on every litre of gas. Nonetheless, TransLink’s $1.45 billion budget is under stress every year.

That has TransLink board members like Mayor Daykin looking east.

“I think they’re getting a bit of a free ride,” Daykin said.

To be sure, residents outside MetroVancouver may use TransLink’s transportation infrastructure when they venture west. But the numbers hardly seem to warrant the kind of blanket tax that the Maple Ridge mayor is suggesting.

Estimates put the number of Chilliwack drivers leaving the city at just 13 per cent. Indeed, according to the Fraser Valley Regional District, 92 per cent of the all vehicle trips originating in the FVRD stay within the FVRD.

That’s hardly “a free ride,” especially when taxpayers here already contribute indirectly to TransLink’s transportation infrastructure. The money used to complete SkyTrain extensions, or improve routes like the $1.4 billion South Fraser Parameter Road did not grow on trees. Portions of it came through provincial and federal funds that we all pay into.

Chilliwack has just undergone the most extensive transit upgrade in the city’s history. That investment is paying dividends as ridership increases and fewer vehicles clog local roads.

But more is still to be done – work that won’t get done if we begin subsidizing the region’s western neighbour.

Just Posted

Dying days for 25-bed mental health facility on Chilliwack/Abbotsford border

Closure of Mountain View criticized by NDP in opposition but hasn’t reversed Fraser Health decision

Chilliwack RCMP seek ID of man caught by bait car camera

Police say man is wanted for identity theft connected to incident downtown on Feb. 5

Chilliwack court to decide on allowing assistance dog to sit with sex assault witness

Yellow lab Caber helps calm people in crisis, in police interviews and in courthouse appearances

Chilliwack Special Olympics launches into spring season

Bocce ball, soccer, softball and golf highlight the offerings for 87-plus local athletes.

Rupert the Bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

Local rock hound carves a 9-tonne granite grizzly bear

Chilliwack’s Paul McCarl’s about to complete a carving project 14 years in the making

5 to start your day

A famous bunny sidelined in Chilliwack, multiple vehicles torched in Aldergrove and more

Travellers urged to be careful after Coquitlam travel agency has licence revoked

Regulating body shut down Kimiya Travel Ltd. on Friday

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Most Read