The following is a letter from VALTAC, published in many Fraser Valley newspapers and I believe sums up what the majority of residents think. Regional mayors should think twice before supporting any more TransLink inspired taxes, until the TransLink behemoth itself, cleans house.
Re: TransLink Workshop Consultation Process, June 1-2.
Kicked off with a May 27 editorial in the Vancouver Sun by TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast and accompanied by a barrage of print, radio and TV advertising, the TransLink Community Consultation Workshops Showboat made eight stops in the GVRD.
Reports on attendance vary from 15-30 people per event, totaling less turnout than we had for the Mufford Crescent Overpass Open House hosted by the Township at Milner Community Hall on January 31 this year. Why such an abominable turnout despite the major advertising campaign promoting the event, depicting the upcoming challenges and begging for input?
We firmly believe the citizens of the GVRD are very concerned as to how we intend to cope with the 1 million-plus émigrés anticipated over the next 20 years. However, the citizenry simply declined to attend because they are resigned to the fact that in the long run TransLink will do as it pleases and taxpayers will be turned upside down and the required funds to subsidize TransLink will be shaken from their clenched fists. The only question remains in which manner and how painfully will the funds be extracted.
We don’t believe the boardgame used to delineate the options as tabled truly reflected the costs of the various levels of service. We would love to know what it cost for the media advertising blitz, board game development/production, etc. Was this the best use of funds considering the response from the public at large or must it be written off as the cost of the consultative process?
Joe and Mary 6-Pak can only be girding their loins for the inevitable shelling out of $800 per family of four in after-tax dollars, in perpetuity. The best they can hope for is it may possibly arrange for a bus to come closer to their front door with more frequent service or light rail will finally come to the South of the Fraser.
South of the Fraser, and in the Langleys specifically, we are third class citizens compared to North of the Fraser. We will reluctantly contribute the same dollars per capita, endure most of the population growth and continue to receive the least service. Unfortunately, plans I have seen for the future promise little more and guarantee nothing.
We want nothing but the best for South of the Fraser and only ask we somewhat receive in the proportion to what we will give. We await to see where the consultative process now takes us.
VALTAC will conclude by thanking the hundreds of citizens who stopped by our booth at the Langley Canada Day Celebrations. The interest and enthusiasm of the younger crowd (aged 16-23) who do not want to purchase a car and wish to avail themselves of light rail as a transportation alternate was overwhelming and encouraging. The 53-foot-long “mobile sign” has been a truly effective outreach vehicle and was instantly tied to our booth display.
With BC Hydro committed to reconfirmation of passenger running rights on the BCER and all Mayors and Councils South of the Fraser supportive of same, we must now elevate our campaign to the provincial government.
Lee Lockwood, VALTAC Chairperson, Aldergrove
Tags: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, cost per km, demonstration project, Diesel LRT, economic stimulus, Evergreen Line, Fraser Valley, gateway, highway 1, infrastructure, light rail, LRT, Rail for the Valley, skytrain, streetcars, Surrey, transit, Translink, UBC, UBC SkyTrain, VALTAC, Vancouver