News Views: Two evils

The No side didn’t fire TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis, then decide to keep paying him while hiring an interim replacement.

Metro voters are being told that if they don’t vote ‘yes’ on the transit referendum that not only will they not get such improvements for a decade or so, but added congestion will, in time, stifle major corridors, costing them billions of dollars and putting their lives at risk.

Mayors, businesses owners, police chiefs, even doctors are all offering warnings: costs of goods and services will increase, jobs will go elsewhere, police cars and ambulances will be stuck in traffic.

Every day the Yes side proposes another end-of-the-world scenario in an effort to discredit the No side’s notion that TransLink spending is out of control and that salaries are too high.

It even brought in billionaire Jimmy Pattison to save the day. He wouldn’t have any interest in placing billboards along new transit lines. And he can’t fix the rudderless organization that TransLink has become.

Nor can the No side, which isn’t to blame for SkyTrain failures, or that of the Compass Card.

The No side isn’t responsible for unpaid fares.

The No side didn’t fire TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis, then decide to keep paying him while hiring an interim replacement.

And the No side isn’t responsible for the unfair and inconsistent tolling policy in the Metro region. It didn’t propose a new tax that would apply to Metro residents only, even though the planned transportation improvements wouldn’t benefit all the same.

The No side isn’t even suggesting that the transportation improvements aren’t needed, just that TransLink become a more accountable organization first.

And even Jarvis, before he was fired, suggested a more equitable way to fund transportation improvements is needed.

The Yes side is lacking support, by a wide margin, according to recent polls, so it is enacting an aggressive campaign of fear tactics to change the minds of voters as referendum ballots are being mailed out. It’s a political war that doesn’t benefit Metro residents. Instead, it seeks to tax them more because the mayors and TransLink are powerless to develop a better solution.

Voters are being asked to choose the better of two evils, when really the provincial government should stop playing chicken, get involved and create a transportation authority that can support the needed – and wanted – transportation improvements, fairly.

But that would be expecting too much from Premier Christy Clark and her Liberal government.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News