There is a good reason why the propaganda system works the way it does. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.”

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to give $350 million for the beleaguered and ill planned Evergreen SkyTrain Line, which must bring joy to the hearts of the SkyTrain lobby and Bombardier Inc.

The SkyTrain/metro lobby is waking up to the fact that Fraser Valley residents want light-rail and they want it sooner rather than later. For almost 30 years the great SkyTrain propaganda machine ground on and on, spewing reams of phony claims, based on contrived facts. The so-called business case for the Evergreen SkyTrain line continues the sad saga of manipulating truth to insure more of the light metro is built https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/can-translinks-business-cases-be-trusted/ .   It seems the Prime Minister has also been scammed to support this white elephant, with loads of Federal (photo-op) money for ‘politically prestigious’  and politically correct transit mega-projects. One guesses the Prime Minister is trying to buy votes for Conservative MP’s along the Evergreen line will operate; shades of Glen Clark’s Millennium Line.

The Vancouver Sun also embarrassed itself with a picture of a classic European style tram operating on-street instead of showing ugly elevated guideways which will be in place with the elevated automatic SkyTrain ART light-metro!  It seems the Vancouver Sun continues its long history of pro-SkyTrain propaganda and anti-LRT rhetoric, distorting facts to favouring SkyTrain.  The Evergreen Line will definitely not run at street level.  http://www.vancouversun.com/Business/Harper+expected+announce+billion+Evergreen+transit+line/1329040/story.html

For the taxpayer, the Evergreen SkyTrain Line means higher property taxes; for the car driver, a car levy; and for the transit customer, higher fares, all brought to you courtesy of Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon, and now Stephen Harper. Harper’s and Campbell’s latest Evergreen Line gambit may backfire if Fraser Valley residents feel they have been ignored far too long and return MP’s and MLA’s not belonging to the federal Conservative or provincial Liberal parties.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “You can’t fool all the people all the time.”

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3 Responses to “There is a good reason why the propaganda system works the way it does. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.””

  1. D. M. Johnston Says:

    Sent to the Vancouver Sun.

    The Editor;

    I am not surprised that the Sun deliberately favours a SkyTrain Evergreen Line, because the Sun has always supported SkyTrain and its clone RAV. What I find
    shocking is that the Sun uses an idyllic picture of LRT in Port Moody, censoring the reality of an ugly elevated guideway that SkyTrain must use!

    The real story about the Evergreen Line is that noted American transit expert Gerald Fox easily shredded Trans link’s business case for the Evergreen Line, saying “I found several instances where the analysis had made assumptions that were inaccurate, or had been manipulated to make the case for SkyTrain.” Further saying, “It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding.” Simply
    put, the business case for a SkyTrain Evergreen Line is a sham!

    The Evergreen Line is a classic case of politicians squandering huge sums of money on politically prestigious rapid transit projects that are so badly planned they fail to alleviate traffic gridlock and congestion. Bad planning,
    bad accounting and bad political decisions, abetted by a compliant press, is the hallmark of rapid transit planning in BC!

    Malcolm Johnston
    Box 105
    Delta BC
    V4K 3N5
    604-889-4484

  2. David Says:

    Years before I did the research and became an LRT supporter I had heard of Malcolm Johnston and, rather sadly, thought him a bit of a raving fanatic. I’m sure our current Provincial government has similar regard for his eloquent letters.

    What is needed is for new voices to take up the call for affordable transit and sustainable funding. We probably need renowned planners to donate their time and complete studies that prove TransLink and Kevin Falcon have manipulated the numbers in favor of SkyTrain.

    Mr. Fox says the Evergreen business case was flawed, but he doesn’t have an alternative study complete with realistic numbers for options. The public is left with the impression that our politicians fudged the numbers, but perhaps not by much. What they need to see is that SkyTrain isn’t going to cost 20% more than LRT, that it will end up costing at least 50% more and force everyone to pay a vehicle levy or other new fee for the privilege of gazing upon its concrete and steel beams.

    I recall a quote from someone at TransLink that the Evergreen LRT line had to be located along the rail line because “we couldn’t take away any lanes of traffic”. I think that pretty much says it all. One of the primary reasons why LRT is so inexpensive to build is because it runs on existing roads. Running on existing streets is also a huge factor in attracting ridership because it’s so convenient. Taking away a tram’s primary advantages is sure to tilt the table in favor of another technology.

    It appears to be too late for Evergreen, but the rest of the ill conceived Provincial Transit Plan can and should be challenged. I used to live in Kitsilano. It’s a fantastic place with a lively street life that would be enhanced by on-street LRT. I do not want a subway system to UBC and do not believe anyone along the proposed route would benefit from it. I really wish Gordon Campbell still lived on west 14th because then he’d be personally against it too.

  3. zweisystem Says:

    It is a sad world indeed that when ones calls for the truth, one is deemed a “raving fanatic’, such is life. The reason Mr. Fox has not been asked to do any planning for TransLink as transit planning is done in-house, with light-rail ultimately being rejected!

    Mr. Fox has worked on a lot of successful transit projects in the USA and has been retained by a Victoria rail group to oversea light-rail planning there. If you note his last paragraph in his letter, it is concerning Victoria. Until we become realistic in our transit planning, precious transit monies will be squandered on over built and noneffective transit projects. For all the SkyTrain that has been built, there is very little evidence it has taken cars off the road, worse still, it giving many bus users an uncomfortable transfer to SkyTrain to help TransLink bolster numbers.

    Unlike other transit systems in the USA or Europe there is no independent annual oversight or audit of ridership and this has played well into the hands of TransLink.

    If the Evergreen line is built (and I still have my doubts) it will force regional planners to build a SkyTrain subway to UBC, to make the Millennium Line line viable. If Rail for the Valley wants to get the interurban on track, it must put a ‘wooden stake’ into the heart of SkyTrain and do it quickly. If not, the concept of a cheaper light-rail alternative will be ignored by politicians and planners alike, too afraid to admit that they have squandered billions on a rather poorly built, obsolete light-metro..

    In a world where SkyTrain has been relegated as a historical footnote, TransLink pushes on trying to make the unworkable work.

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