From Suzuki to song, videographers aim to reverse referendum tide (VIDEOS)

Yes forces hope viral videos can boost their campaign's sagging fortunes in Metro Vancouver transit vote

David Suzuki

David Suzuki



Yes campaigners from David Suzuki to a UBC choir have recorded videos pitching their reasons why voters should approve a sales tax to fund more transit in this spring’s referendum.

Canada’s most famous environmentalist is among the latest to make a video pitch to aid the Yes camp.

“Metro Vancouver is locked in congestion, this is our way out of that mess,” Suzuki said. “Voting Yes is the single biggest thing you can do to fight climate change in your region.”

Also new out this week is a YouTube video by UBC’s A Capella Club riffing on a Beach Boys classic tune to argue for improved transit.

Jeremy McElroy and his friends recorded a video – “This Sucks Vancouver” has more than 32,000 views on YouTube – that fuses biting humour with blunt language to make the point that the transportation status quo is unacceptable.

McElroy told CTV they decided to make the video because the Yes side’s messaging was failing to connect directly to ordinary commuters, allowing the No side to gain traction.

“We said ‘No, get it back to the fact that commuting in this region sucks and people should vote Yes to fix it.'”

“Our Story, Our Future” is yet another video, by Modacity and narrated by SFU City Program director Gordon Price, that recounts Metro Vancouver’s choice to follow “a different path” from other cities and frames what’s at stake in the referendum now.

In it Price warns a No vote will mean less transportation choice for residents in the future and threatens a loss of the vision that has made the region unique.

“A million people arriving in the next 30 years will have to be accommodated on transit

with the existing service,” he said. That means cutbacks in some places, crowding in others. We fall back to building more roads, more bridges, which we will not have a vote for.”

If recent polls are correct, the Yes side is trailing badly with Metro voters and faces a steep uphilll climb to have a shot at victory.

Meanwhile, at least one video urging a No vote has surfaced in recent days. In it, South Surrey resident Don Pitcairn attacks the usually empty $4.5-million expansion of the South Surrey Park and Ride as a waste of money. (The province actually funded and built the new lot, but the No side says TransLink’s pay parking policy keeps it empty.)