When I first heard about the transit plebiscite, I thought, great, finally a means by which everyone pays for transit improvements.
Then I started listening to the debate; anytime politicians start saying something is good, I start to get concerned.
The first was the 90 groups supporting the ‘yes’ side. All of them would see a financial benefit.
Then there is the threat; one million people moving into the region in the next few decades. I have attended several ‘livable region’ meetings over the years and can’t get a simple answer to the question, why.
We are told by city officials year after year that we can grow ourselves out of debt, yet my taxes and city debt continue to climb.
I moved to Surrey almost 60 years ago; it was a wonderful place to grow up. Not anymore. It is congested because of poor planning and the desire to appease developers.
You don’t have to look past the last municipal election to see our city leaders throughout Metro Vancouver are in the pockets of the developers.
The Millennium Line was built through an area that consisted mainly of industrial, commercial and warehouses. Today, thanks to the taxpayers, developers’ pockets are bulging with profits made off these lands. The same goes for the Evergreen Line. Now, Vancouver wants a subway line that will only move congestion down the road a few kilometres, but developers will make millions around the stations.
Surrey’s two transit lines are the same. They won’t improve congestion, only make it worse.
I find it interesting that the people who think bridge tolls are the way to fund transit don’t cross them.
Under our present system, if everyone got out of their cars tomorrow, how would we pay for more transit? Transit will never be self-sustaining, yet no one wants to find a fair way to fund it.
I have worked in the aviation industry for more than 40 years. My day starts at 4 a.m. There are hundreds of workers at YVR starting at that time; there is no transit. Yet there are those who feel we should pay bridge and road tolls as some sort of penance for driving our cars to work. I pay the same municipal taxes the transit users do, yet my costs to get to and from work are much higher. I don’t get a discounted monthly pass and a deduction on my income tax.
I have always been prepared to pay my share but, at this time, I haven’t made a decision. I am tired of the politics, the lies, the deceit, the spin put on everything.
I’m hoping people are starting to see the mess being created by greed.
There are many questions yet to be answered. Politicians are asking us to look decades down the road, but the information they are supplying is designed for their success in the next election, not for the people to make a well-informed decision.
Chris Hale, Surrey