Saturday, February 07, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...Heads They Win, Tails We Lose.


Subbing in for Ron Obvious, it's Ian Bailey in today's Globe:

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says Lower Mainland mayors will have to raise property taxes as a Plan B if voters reject a proposed sales tax to pay for new transit in this year’s plebiscite...

But even if it's as obvious as all get out, here is a publicly available tidbit about this farce that many may have missed:

...The vote is being held between March 16 and May 29...



A two month long 'plebiscite' that actually involves no choice at all?

Who can possibly really win with something like that?

Why the flack-hackery, of course.

On both sides.

As in Side A, as reported by Bob Mackin:

On Jan. 2, Counterpoint Communications got a new year’s gift. Its “Business and Stakeholder Outreach” consulting contract was extended indefinitely by TransLink without a bid, because of tight timelines and Counterpoint’s “unique expertise.”.

Said the notice of intent: “The Supplier has provided focused stakeholder engagement services to raise awareness of the Mayors’ Council vision, developed a strong understanding of the Mayors’ Plan and provided an important liaison between TransLink/Mayors’ Council and stakeholders.”...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The public relations and lobbying company’s five principals include Bob Ransford, who is thought of by NPA loyalists as a turncoat for joining Vision Vancouver before the 2011 election...

And Side B, as reported by Jen St. Denis in BIV:

A former Conservative Party insider with ties to the controversial blog will play a key role in the Metro Vancouver transit referendum.

Hamish Marshall will work with the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation (CTF) to run the campaign for the ‘no’ side, said Jordan Bateman, B.C. director for the CTF.“He’s an experienced campaign manager, he’s worked on various Conservative campaigns around the country,” Bateman said...


With all the flacking and hacking set to go on from now until the end of May, intensifying as the focus groups and the endless super-secret polling slice and dice the citizenry into ever smaller interest groups that can be swayed by silly string stuff like spending more money to purellize all those terrible germs on all those even more terrible transit station handrails and/or saving more money by cutting the wasteful, entitled bus driver practice of heading to the washroom between between trips....

Will anything of substance said by anyone who isn't a shill actually reach said citizenry?



Anonymous said...

Why bother voting if its getting funded anyway.
what part of no means no
referendum now plebesite
bait and switch?


Lew said...

The Mayor’s Council website features a video described as a transit and transportation plan. It looks more like an unfunded wish list to me, even if the referendum passes. If the estimated $2.5 billion generated over the next decade by the new sales tax will only fund one third of the wish list, they are obligated to show us the concrete commitments in hand to fund the rest, or specify exactly which initiatives will proceed in the absence of those commitments. Our vote can’t be carved into thirds; why should their story?

Surrey mayor Linda Hepner promised during her successful mayoral election campaign that light-rail transit would be built in Surrey by 2018, and that she could sign public-private partnerships and use development fees along the proposed transit lines to pay for its construction. Surrey voters have already approved this major element of her transportation platform. Why not let her deliver?

Translink’s website says the mayor’s vision for the Pattullo Bridge replacement contemplates road-usage charges such as tolling to fund the majority of the cost of a new bridge, but no final decisions have been made regarding funding sources. If tolls were going to pay for it, but now it will come from the new sales tax as the video says, will the replacement bridge be toll-free if the referendum passes?

The transit and transportation requirements outlined did not just suddenly materialize overnight. The provincial government, Translink, and the Mayor’s Council have had years to get a plan together but have let the system and their relationship deteriorate to the point where we are now faced with an urgent and narrow take it or leave it offer full of questions.

The Vancouver Board of Trade says over 90 diverse organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members have rallied around a "Yes" vote for the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Council Plan, and the "Yes" coalition has become the largest and most diverse coalition in support of a single issue in B.C.'s history. If that’s the case, why are millions of public dollars and who knows how many private dollars from self-interests required to sell the plan to us?

North Van's Grumps said...

Globe and Mail:Seattle's Big Dig 2 is following hard on the heels of Boston's Big Dig 1 which had an estimated budget of $2.8 Billion and ended up, after 15 years of construction, at $15 Billion.

Seattle is considering giving up on their new tunnel, it seems they lost their boring machine, Big Bertha, a year ago having only complete 10% of the 3.2 kilometre tunnel.

Is there any Guarantee from the YES side here in Metro Vancouver that the $2.5 billion tax will not end up at $15 Billion. Will the BC Liberal government dump Treo on our laps as well?

e.a.f. said...

all this "chat" about rapid transit is a waste of breath. The government or one of its arms is just looking for another way to provide projects to make money for their corporate friends, at the expense of people trying to keep their heads afloat in B.C.

These new transit projects have worked wonders for developers building along the lines, but has it actually shortened the travel time of people going to work? Not so much from what I can figure out.

How about just having some decent bus service, taking tolls off bridges in the lower mainland, and getting rid of Translink. its a waste of money. It was a grand idea at one time, but has become an empire unto itself.

We can't afford to keep hospitals clean.
We can't afford to let kids living at 50% below the poverty line keep their child support. Christy says she needs the $17M a year.
We can't afford to have enough money to pay for aides for disabled kids in school.
We can't afford to bring schools up to code for earthquakes.
We can't afford to build enough new schools so kids are in portables.
We can't afford to increase disability pensions so they have to live on $908 per month
We can't afford a new Children's Hospital.
We can't afford to build supportive housing for the mentally ill.
We can't afford to build affordable housing for min. wage earners.

BUT WE have all those billions to spend on transit. The only one making money off of that are those who build it, the friends of the B.C. Lieberals.

sd said...

You said for me e.a.f.! I can't move away but I can get involved with a recall.I'm retired now and have the time. To the barricades people!

Anonymous said...

taxpayer funded annual corporate maximum revenue stream.?
zombie money?
vote BC Liberal?

Anonymous said...

looking for?

Anonymous said...

did BC Libs give them a groupon?