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

Preliminary inquiry set for man accused of killing Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie charged with killing Amelie Sakkalis, 28 on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Vehicle stolen from under eyes of Hope resident

Resident on Beacon Road left vehicle running and theives pounced

Dead salmon left to rot along the Fraser River angers sportfishing group

Found among the chum dumped on the gravel bar were endangered Thompson River steelhead

Are Chilliwack gas prices too high? Some say yes

The amount at the pumps has locals fuming over what they say are too-high gas prices

Mental health first aid course comes to Chilliwack

The two-day course will take place at the Coast Hotel on Nov. 1 and 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Red Sox beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 of World Series

Benintendi has 4 hits as Boston cruises at Fenway

Lower Mainland boy has bike and prosthetic arm stolen

Bike has been recovered, but arm still missing

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Vancouver mom creates screen-free kids’ entertainment

Luna Cheng, who grew up in Langley, is one of the creators of BoredBox.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Most Read