No side signs have been lifted from the Haney Bypass and along Lougheed Highway

No side signs being stolen

No TransLink Tax Campaign says its budget is only $40,000.

What bothers Sean Orcutt the most is that whoever is taking the No TransLink Tax signs is acting against the majority of public opinion.

He figures most of the people oppose increasing the provincial sales tax by half a per cent in Metro Vancouver in order to fund TransLink improvements.

“That is what makes my blood boil. This very small group is denying a voice to a large number of people … when this is the voice of the majority and somebody is trampling on that.”

Metro Vancouver is currently in the middle of a mail-in vote on whether to approve the added tax.

While the Yes side has support of the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation and Vancouver, Surrey and New Westminster councils have already voted to provide either cash or in-kind contributions, the No TransLink Tax Campaign says its budget is only $40,000.

One of the means of getting its message out is by the small roadside election-type signs volunteers place at key points.

Orcutt put up signs along Lougheed Highway in the high-traffic areas.

But in the past few weeks, at least half a dozen signs that he put out on Lougheed Highway, between Kanaka Way and 240th Street, have gone missing.

Three more have been taken east of 240th Street, and another six were lifted from the Haney Bypass.

“They don’t want the exposure on the high-traffic areas. It looks like a concerted effort to me.”

He doesn’t know who’s doing it. But somebody is making an effort to pick them up, although several are still around Maple Ridge roads.

“I don’t like to exclude any possibility. Unfortunately, the malicious is always a possibility.”

Wilf McIntyre, also on the No side, has put out about another 120 signs, and had about 40 of those taken.

He has no idea who’s taking the signs.

“It’s somebody out there who doesn’t like the competition,” he said.

“They just take them and go.”

It’s not like during an election, when people damage or knock down signs. Instead, they’re just disappearing.

“These guys are vicious. They’re just pulling them and taking them.”

McIntyre has had signs removed from around the West Coast Express station and from 222nd Street and the Haney Bypass.

“That’s the way it is with the bullies running the whole show for the Yes side. It’s discouraging. It’s becoming a Communist state, in my mind, just control, control, control.”

Orcutt, an NDP supporter, says the provincial Liberal government is abdicating its responsibility for making decisions by having the plebiscite and forcing people to vote for a tax increase.

“Do your job and make your decisions and be accountable for your decisions. If you don’t want to do your job, by all means step down,” he said.

All of the province should pay for the bridges and roads needed throughout B.C., he added.

“They’re afraid of making a decision that will cost them votes.”

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read is one of the three mayors in the region who opposes the vote because TransLink doesn’t have enough responsibility to run its affairs.

Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting, which maintains the Lougheed Highway, a provincial highway, said it’s not removing the signs, unless there are safety concerns, and it’s treating the signs as it would during an election.

Elections B.C. reported Wednesday that 22 per cent of eligible ballots – more than 340,000 – have now been received and screened.

That return rate stands at 28.4 per cent in Langley Township, 25.1 per cent in Vancouver and 24.8 per cent in Maple Ridge.

The ballots on whether to increase the sales tax from seven to 7.5 per cent in Metro Vancouver won’t be counted until after the May 29 deadline for them to be returned to Elections B.C.


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