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

Dingwall’s run for mayor cost almost $14k

Election spending reported on disclosure statements

Flames take first playoff game in double overtime

Tucek named first star, Georgeopolous scores the game winner for Ridge

Attackers with acid burn Maple Ridge couple in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Executive director leaving Ridge Meadows Hospice Society

Vosper leaving ‘big shoes to fill’

Names keep adding to vaccine petition

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Man taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, burns after fire at RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Most Read