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“NO” on TransLink Vote

February 23rd, 2015 · 101 Comments

You don’t change incompetence, waste and malfunctioning by rewarding it.

There’s no doubt Vancouver and the Lower Mainland NEED better transit, a Broadway subway (yes SUBway… not SKYtrain), a new Patullo Bridge and better road infrastructure.

You can read all about what we need on the Mayors’ Council Transit site: http://mayorscouncil.ca/information-centre/

As someone who almost NEVER uses public transit in the Lower Mainland, but almost ALWAYS uses public transit when I’m in other major cities: New York, London, Paris etc. I know it CAN be really good: fast, efficient, reasonably priced … even fun.

But in  the Lower Mainland … not so much!

We’ve funded transit by the billions for decades, we’ve given transit extra gas taxes,  exclusive lanes on roads, paid the top brass who run the system VERY well …I’d even say OVERPAID … and yet, from what I hear from those who use the system, our bus system in terms of services and hours leaves much to be desired, thousands of passengers are regularly PASSED BY  (must be LOTS of fun in the rain!) , fares  are expensive and continue to be evaded by many (where is that Compass card system, anyway?) and Skytrain … a good idea, I believe … is  far too often spotty or downright unreliable.

I need not go through the whole litany here: you can read all about it on the NO TransLink tax site: http://www.notranslinktax.ca/ .

Translink has not yet earned my trust.

I am not convinced the current TransLink board/setup/management/bureaucracy/planners and operations staff will use any EXTRA  money CAREFULLY and WISELY.

The 0.5% EXTRA sales tax … or Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax as the politicians named it … would raise $250 million EXTRA each year, to help finance a $7.5 BILLION expansion of the Lower Mainland’s transportation system over the next 10 years.

I  suspect that EXTRA tax will never be removed; I can’t believe that the proposed projects would come in anywhere close to the estimated costs; and … here’s the worst … I still don’t believe the current TransLink management makeup, setup and controls are sufficient to protect the public purse from additional waste, abuse, inflated salaries and incompetency.

I wouldn’t advise anyone I know to give $1,000 to an investment counselor with a lousy, wasteful performance/track, so how can I support giving TransLink $250 million a year MORE in the mail-in plebiscite to be held in the Lower Mainland from mid-March till the end of May?

Not at this time.

As I said, I have no doubt we NEED better transit and transportation systems … and I don’t mind helping pay for it.

But FIRST, TransLink must PROVE it is worthy of the public trust … and an EXTRA $7.5 Billion in funding … ans not just PROMISE to do a better job.

Take a couple of years to SHOW US Translink can work better, can cut the waste, can eliminate the spending abuses … and CAN actually have a smoothly operating COMPASS system … and build up our confidence/trust.

And then, ask the question again.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 101 CommentsTags: British Columbia

Once More … the Hypocrites are Proved WRONG

February 18th, 2015 · 114 Comments

Hypocrites! It’s time we called them out.

Who?  You know, those people who want to save the planet from climate change … and endlessly cite SCIENTIFIC evidence that backs their position; the people proclaim loudly that 97% of the world’s SCIENTISTS agree (maybe more) than mankind is responsible for contributing substantially to climate change; and, the people who believe we should pay attention to the growing list of  SCIENTIFIC studies that back their positions.

Science should triumph over emotion and politics!

Right?

I agree … scientific evidence should determine environmental policy.

Hypocrites!

Because many of the same people who FLAUNT scientific reasoning in the climate change debate will FLOUT it flagrantly in their biases against PIPELINES as being the SAFEST WAY to move oil and other petroleum products!

Ask the people of Mount Carbon, West Virginia.   Hundreds were forced to flee for their lives when huge explosions and towering fire balls erupted from oil cars after a train carrying THREE MILLION GALLONS of refined crude oil (that’s the CLEAN kind environmentalists favour).

Or ask the people of Timmins, Ontario.  Just two days before the West Virginia wreck , according to CTV  ”29 cars of a 100-car Canadian National Railway train carrying diluted bitumen crude derailed in a remote area 50 miles south of Timmins, Ontario, spilling oil and catching fire. That train was headed from Alberta to Eastern Canada.”

And in both instances, the rail cars in use were the new, improved kind … supposedly safer than the older models that exterminated much of the town and 47 members of the population of Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013.

In fact, there have been MANY accidents in recent years involving trains carrying oil in several US states, in Canada and elsewhere.

The SCIENTIFIC evidence (remember that?) … compiled over many decades … is quite clear:

Trucks are the most dangerous mode for transporting crude and petroleum products; trains are the second most dangerous; pipelines are third; and, ships are the safest.

And yet, it’s the TWO SAFEST means that so many “environmentalists”   hate most … almost reacting like Pavlovian pooches to the sound of a pipeline shift-change or any marine vessel bell.

Hypocrites!

“In the U.S., 70% of crude oil and petroleum products are shipped by pipeline. 23% of oil shipments are on tankers and barges over water. Trucking only accounts for 4% of shipments, and rail for a mere 3%. In Canada, it’s even more lopsided. Almost all (97%) of natural gas and petroleum products are transported by pipelines,” reported Forbes Magazine in 2o14.

Clearly pipelines ARE the SAFEST way of moving the crud  on land…I mean crude …no matter what kind.

That’s what the SCIENCE says …and the latest accidents will ADD to that SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE and PROOF.

Not that any facts will change the pipeline-haters’ minds.

THEY believe in SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE only when it supports their own positions .

Hypocrites!

Harv Oberfeld

→ 114 CommentsTags: British Columbia · International · National