January 28, 2015

Referendum: Editorial – Shelley Fralic

A little hard to know initially where Shelley Fralic is going in this column in the Sun, but she ends up in the right place.


Transit wars: Vancouver has all manner of transit. The growing ’burbs do not. Do we want all those cars adding to rush-hour traffic just so we can save ourselves 35 cents a day?


I haven’t used public transit for years. Not a bus, not a SkyTrain, not a West Coast Express, not a SeaBus and not, at least not yet, a HandyDart. Mostly, that’s because I bought a car when I was 17 and no longer had to take the pokey No. 20 Granville trolley (yes, that old) from south Vancouver to my job downtown, and mostly because I now work from home and no longer have to damn that traffic jam. …

Depending on your politics, your home base and your tax temperament, there are numerous reasons to accept or reject the provincial sales tax increase of 0.5 percentage points that is financing the initiative. …

It makes sense that many Vancouverites are going to say no. For the most part, they have decent transit, all manner of trains and buses and connections and service that most commuters — especially those east of Boundary, south of Marine and north of Burrard Inlet — can only dream about. …

Some of us in the sticks can’t help but think the No campaign is exhibiting a short-sighted I-loathe-TransLink snippiness coupled with a good ol’ city – versus-suburb squabble.

I am voting Yes to the Congestion Improvement Tax when mail-in ballots start arriving in mid-March. And not just because, as some mayors are saying with not a little panic in their voices, there is no Plan B.

I am voting Yes because the suburbs, where the majority of us now live, desperately need some transit attention as the region continues its outward growth.

I am also voting Yes because I recently read that the new tax is expected to cost the average Metro Vancouver household about $128 a year — which, by my calculations, is about 35 cents a day.

As the kids say, we need to build a bridge and get over it.

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    1. I agree that comments are important. Most readers look at them. The apparent opinions of commenters are not necessarily reflective of those of readers. But it is not good if a viewpoint is invisible. We who support the plan must comment and vote.

  1. Comments, whether they appear at the end of blogs or fill filing cabinets in customer service departments the world over, are heavily weighted toward complaints. When you read something you believe in, you just nod and move along. When something rubs you the wrong way you react.

    So an editorial espousing “yes” is going to attract a lot of “no” supporters and anything coming out of a certain Mr. Bateman’s mouth will attract a lot of “yes” supporters.

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