“NO” on TransLink Vote

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

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148 Responses to “NO” on TransLink Vote

  1. Helena Handcart says:

    If anyone is in any doubt about the main reason for the congestion in Vancouver, take a look at the street closure site at the COV. http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/roadwork.aspx
    “Closed to facilitate private construction.” Telus Gardens get to close 2 lanes of Richards St. for two and 1/2 years.
    The outfit building the new casino gets to close off part of Smithe for two years. On and on it goes. No thought for anyone but the convenience of the developers. And Robertson has the gall to whine about a congestion tax. Earth to Gregor: You are causing it!

  2. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#92 Peter Ladner
    Soooooo, Peter lader is the founder of “Business in Vancouver” and we’re supposed to accept HIS recommendations?
    Give me a break. He’s doesnt care two farts about rapid transit and I dare say it’s been a while since he’s ridden a bus. All he cares about is getting customers to where ever businesses are selling or delivering their products.
    Newsflash Gregor and Morry. Removing car lanes downtown and installing bike lanes has cause traffic chaos. (And before you start with the “Im and anti cyclist diatribe” Ive been riding into downtown from Burnaby for over 15 years BEFORE most of the bike lanes were built. Where did I ride downtown? In the alleyways where there was virtually zero traffic…rant over)

    As for your( or Ladners) statement that a “No vote” will be interpreted as some sort of “anti developement” NIMBY backlash.
    Horseshit, thats a cop out.
    The No vote will be interpreted by ANYONE with an ounce of commonsense for what it is.
    A rejection of another tax being foisted upon the already tax burdened populace of a city fed up with unaccountable leaders of a dysfunctional transit system.
    Or in simpler terms .
    No more taxes until the Transit system proves it can account for the BILLIONS it has already wasted.

    103 comments Harvey. A new record?

    (Response: No idea if it’s a record …but I can tell you the blog, since I started it a few years ago, has attracted more than 15,600 comments … a REAL vox populi. And still wish more of those who read would add their voices to the discussions/debates/ideas! h.o)

  3. Noneck says:

    BMCQ – No problems mate. For once I agreed with you (although I have no vested interest in this topic. We have no transit where I live and my days of visiting Vancouver are limited). And believe it or not, I enjoy the debate you bring to the table. However, there is one thing that you’ve gotta stop doing: the pointless self-deference that you attach to every post. C’mon. You know people agree with you. This whole discussion has proven that. There’s no need to say otherwise.

    One worry I have about your transit issue centres on the hypothesis of manipulating a No vote to bring about something worse for Vancouverites. You know that traffic congestion is a major problem and if you don’t accept the improvements to an existing system, then what?

    And in regards to Jordan Bateman – just remember he was a young Liberal under the auspices of Big Rich Coleman. I know, accuse me of conspiracy theories, but is he playing the red herring for something larger?

    Short and sweet, eh, BCMQ?

  4. 13 says:

    Harvey, have you kept track of other media people that have taken a stand on this debate. Yes or NO. I would be interested to see if any msm or exe msm such as yourself have taken a stand.

    Those on air at NW have not really declared a position. I think Mcomb is leaning yes, Simi is so anti BC Liberal that if Christy says yes Simi almost has to say NO. Eckford states he is a no but Ive got a feeling he might change his mind. I agree with BMCQ Eckford should be replaced with J Bennet. I dont often listen to the radio in the evening but I have a feeling that Drex is a solid no.
    I guess most msm news types arent allowed to have stated positions on government issues. Allthough almost all news organizations have very obvious left or right biases.

    (Responses: No. h.o)

  5. e.a.f. says:

    A million more people in Greater Vancouver? Who ever thinks that’s a great idea, needs their head examined. We don’t have the infrastructure, and that includes schools, hospitals, jails, homes, roads, buses, etc. Then of course Hugh at 94 made the really big point, “WATER”. DO WE HAVE ENOUGH WATER for an extra million people? Before we invite the world and/or a MILLION people check to see if we have enough drinking water.

    there are the transit police and the VPD. both have challenges at the moment. I’d both start at the top. With the VPD chief’s approaching retirement, that may be corrected, or we could win up with another not so great Chief. Of course the real question is why is he retiring half way through his contract? Is he going to run in the federal election?

    As to Bateman for auditor? Not so much just doesn’t have the qualifications for examining books. what Bateman is good at, is what he does. Lets not promote the boy to the height of his incompetence. Remember the guy who wrote the Peter Principle was from Vancouver. Bateman, does draw attention to some accounting issues, but there is a whole lot he never comes near, i.e. the waste known as tax breaks for the lieberals nearest and dearest. Bateman would not be impartial enough.

    Although some may complain about the wages for the VPD and Tansit Police, it is interesting to note neither group can afford a house in Greater Vancouver. And its never good to have all your cops, fire fighters, health care workers living far away from their places of work.

    When reading Scanda. mystery novels you note many of the detectives walk to and from work. Vancouver’s emergency workers are an hour away, across the river. Not good.

    One thing which might help deal with transit is for people to be able to work closer to home or live closer to work. New West. has started to help by passing by-laws which require developers to build a % of their units as family sized apartments. It makes it possible for families to stay in Greater Vancouver. Currently conds are either very small or large and penthouses. You don’t see family sized condos. That’s what we need, so people don’t have to travel these huge distances. In Europe where people walk and bike to work, they live close to their jobs. They live in apartments, with 2, 3, 4 bedrooms which accommodate families. perhaps this is where we need to start.

  6. John's Aghast says:

    Please don’t encourage BMCQ until he can get his comments down to less than 10,000 words per post.

    (Response: LOL! h.o)

  7. Hugh says:

    BMCQ #98:


    “Extremely low snow pack levels in the mountains could lead to water shortages and an increased risk of forest fires.”

    “The river forecast centre says snow pack levels on Vancouver Island and the South Coast are just 30 per cent of what they normally are at this time of year.”

  8. larry Bennett says:

    Re my remarks at #72, i.e., Transit police informing Border Patrol on illegal immigrants that come to their attention while checking tickets, backgrounds, wanted warrants and etc.. In Saturday’s Sun, it was reported that “…strict conditions have been imposed on when transit officers can turn over someone to the CBSA”! Or so says Transit police spokesperson, Anne Drennan. (Yup, another double dipper, so it seems).
    Let’s just get something straight here folks – what is it about “illegal” that people have so much trouble understanding? People who are in this country illegally, are thieves, plain and simple! And we wonder why our social system is in free-fall – it’s because we can no longer afford all the safety nets put in place to look after our own, let alone the rest of the world. And then, on top of it all, they expect us to change our Christian way of laws and jurisprudence for their cultural ethos. It’s gotta stop or it is all gonna end tragically.

  9. BMCQ says:

    Helena – 101

    Trust me Mayor Gregor is no friend of The Developer.

    Gregor and his “Brain”, Geoff Meggs and Penny Balem use the Developer by relaxing certain building Standards required by the City. In turn the City get what they want, more “Social Housing”.

    As an example the City will allow a few more stories in height for a certain amount of additional “Social Housing. Or in the case of close to Emory Barnes Park, (I believe that that Particular Project is currently under Litigation) the City exchanged one Property for another allowing the Developer more allowance in Building Height and Square Footage in turn for more square footage of Social Housing in a new building across the street.

    The Developer and “Vision” use each other!!! Nothing more and nothing less!! “Mutual Gratification” one might say!

    In fact Mayor Gregor and The Developer are no different than “Two Scorpions” circling each other in a Bottle!, each getting what it can out of the other!!

    As to street closures, trust me it costs the Developer to have those streets closed.

    There are other costs as well, everything from Sweeping the Street ,Washing the Street, to Traffic Control, to Safety Enforcement all a “Huge” Cost to the Developer that must be paid to The City.

    Believe me the Developer wants to get out of there as soon as they can!!! some very large Projects just take time and it means the temporary of closing roads and the inconvenience that comes with it.

    Neck – 103

    To the contrary I would guess that about 90% that post here almost always disagree with me. This just happens to be one of those delightful Topics that H.O. has chosen that keeps coming up ” Four Cherries”!!!

    Out of those that actually Post here I would guess that there are only 3 or 4 that would agree with me most of the time, thank God there is at least close to a handful of us!

    I don’t really mind that at all, I just wish that some could see the other side of a story. I have already mentioned that because of a few good arguments put by Posters here I have actually changed my mind on two different Topics since I joined here last july. I think that is healthy!

    As to the “Yes/No” Vote. I honestly believe most here understand we do need Transit improvements.

    But what we want to take place before we put more money into TransLink is we want it fixed!

    Let’s Fix the “Bloody Thing”, then talk about the injection of more FUNDINGl!!

    Most here that are on the “No” Side are not against TransLink at all. We simply want it to be a Fair and Equitable System that runs smoothly without any glitches, cover more of The YVR, move People efficiently, speed up Commute Times and accomplish all of those things within a SET Budget!!!

    That should not be too much to ask!

    Something that does not get mentioned enough here.

    The cost of Housing or Rent is so very high compared to most other jurisdictions that most in The YVR do not have the disposable Income to just continually pay more or Tax towards TransLink.

    Perhaps if one could purchase a Single Family home in say Richmond for $ 350,000 K, or a Condo in Yale Town for $ 200K then they might easier agree to the .5% Tax Increase, I do not know. But as the High Cost of housing now stands most will not entertain that increase unless the System is Fixed and COSTS/SPENDING AT TRANSLINK ARE UNDER CONTROL!!!!!

    Do not know much about Bateman but I see him as someone that speaks out against Government waste and for now I am on side with him.

    We need to tighten up on Government spending at all levels and I will support anyone that can assist in doing that!

    We need someone that is articulate, easy to understand and at the same time some one that can get the ear of Main Stream Media, and for now Bateman is that guy no matter what one might think of his past affiliations!!

    Christy Clark and her Government need to Listen, and they need to Fix this Cesspool of a Transit System!!!

    As previously stated Mr. Allen along with some “Expert Guns for Hire” can do just that, all they need is the OK from Government and a New Board that is 6 ELECTED Government Members, 4 Libs, 1 NDP and 1 Green.

    Keep in mind that I do Vote Federal Conservative and Provincial liberal.

    The other comment was just an attempt to stick the needle in for a past comment of yours. I will do my best to resist in future.

    13 – 104

    Yes, I was out in the car this morning and just happened to have NW tuned in. Could not help myself!!!! I had to call in.

  10. BMCQ says:

    e.a.f. – 105

    Surely you cannot think my Bateman for “Auditor General” was serious? Come on!!

    I almost agree with you about our Intrepid Police Jim Chu.

    “Not so Great”, you say? Fact is he was a very poor VPD Chief!!

    God I hope he does not run for The Federal Conservatives!

    Please do not suggest that ANY City should subsidize housing for Police, Fire or other others.

    The Tax Payer already has enough of a Burden with Government costs!

    Hugh – 107

    Let me know in September just how your Summer turns out!

    I too am Aghast!!!!!

    See well under 10,000 Words!

  11. Barry says:

    The chap who said construction types blocking off lanes and causing congestion hit a cord with me. Being one of those types GregortheGreen would like–I don’t have a car–I’m getting royally PO’d at the way it seems construction types think they have the god given right to use public lands as their own private work places.

    Two examples: Living in Marpole I like to go to the movie theater on Burrard street. However, between the construction of the Telus building and the closing off of Granville street to transit on weekend nights and the closing of bus stops around where the Telus construction is going on, means that either I have to walk to Seymour and Dunsmur or to the main branch of the library to catch my bus. Try that on a monsoon night!

    Example the second–bus service to the Marine drive sktrain station save for the Marine Drive and Cambie buses has been shut off for over a year to accommodate construction of the tower there. As near as I can tell, the area where the buses used to load and unload is now a parking lot for construction equipment.

    This has the effect of people living along Granville, Oak and Main streets no longer have direct access via the buses on those routes. In their usual disdain for the users of their service, they say you have to transfer, adding time and inconvenience to the trip.

    But what the heck, care to bet the overpaid executives and politicians are the least bit inconvenienced? Nah, it’s just the peons that have to suffer.

    I voted against Green for this very reason. If I had my way, public lands like roads, bus infrastructure and sidewalks would remain for the use of the public, not work sites for private individuals and companies.

    Some of my friends say that would cause those people great inconvenience and pose a severe problem to construction crews. Necessity is the mother of invention so goith the old saying.

  12. 13 says:

    @LB #108
    As usual Larry you nailed it. Transit Police always make me think of Bufford T Justice. Large lazy cops , past their prime and raking in dough as they coast towards a third or fourth public sector pension.
    These cops do next to nothing as it is and now because of a public relations disaster (caused by the also innept CBSA) they have one less thing to do.
    I was not kidding when I suggested that Translink could spend their current policing budget on security guards. My uneducated guess is they could put a yellow jacketed rent a cop on damned near every piece of equipment translink manages and still save money. The yellow jacket will have instant communication with whatever municipal police force the transit vehicle is passing through. Police will attend even sooner than trying to wake up Ann Drennan at the rest home.
    Now that Im on a rant , how about the endless money wasted on Delta police and New westminster police and Port Moody police and VPD and West Vancouver police and the good old RCMP. Do you think we could possibly save a few dollars getting rid of all the managment that all those duplicated services spawn.
    The only specialized police force that made sence was the Harbour Patrol. Your friend the Port of Vancouver decided that they didnt want to foot the bill for that force. So now the buisiest place where drugs guns etc enter and exit the country relies on yellow jackets. \Organized crime must have almost keeled over in happiness when the harbour patrol got the boot.

  13. 13 says:

    Sorry I didnt miss the point you were making. Its about time that the word “ILLEGAL” actualy meant something. Fare evader= criminal that is stealing from Translink which equals stealing from you and me. Illegal imigrant should mean someone that when caught is deported to their country of origin. If shooting heroin is illegal then people that abet heroin users should be arrested. If someone ie Vince Lee or Showenborn is allowed out of custody by a parole board and he reoffends the the parole board should be charged in aiding and abetting. Pulling the plug on grandma because she is suffering will alway open the door to a speedier inheritance. Lastly Larry abortion is murder not many people have the guts to stand up for unborn children ,kudos to you.

  14. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#108 13
    Uh oh
    “Now that Im on a rant , how about the endless money wasted on Delta police and New westminster police and Port Moody police and VPD and West Vancouver police and the good old RCMP. Do you think we could possibly save a few dollars getting rid of all the managment that all those duplicated services spawn….”
    Dont GO there!

    I raise the “Balkanization of the Lower Mainland” duplication of services issue every few months and get pilloried for it.
    P.S. You left out the all the Mayors, all the city staffing, all the different fire depts., Streets, sewers, garbage, etc., etc., etc. The police in the Lower Mainland have partially amalgamated via the RCMP. Time for the rest to do so?

    Unfortunately it brings us back to Translink.
    A regional, unaccountable monolitic sloth that cant see its own feet because its grown so large.
    Thus when it eats too much and it cant feed its self anymore it fails to understand why the “Zoo Keepers” (us) get upset when it whines for more “food”.

    Translink, serving 2.5 million people and paying TWO directors $500k per year. When the City of New York (pop. 9 million) pays its director of transit $300k per year.

    The Translink board.
    A digusting, politically dominated(Liberal AND NDP), trough feeding entity for party lickspittles.
    Harmless in their ineptitude when the region served less than 1,000,000 people.
    Now that the city has grown…..The boards’s failings are there for all to see….slowly twisting in the light of day (NOT the compliant Media…..Chris Gailus! Award Winner! Gag!).

    Vote NO

  15. BMCQ says:

    Larry – 108

    I agree Larry! For some reason we seem to have lost the meaning of a few words here in a big part of the Western World. That word is “Accountable”!

    Because no one is Accountable any more there are no more real deterrents in Western Society!

    There needs to be consequences to ones actions!

    Staying with TransLink, if one evades Fares, they should be fined, and in the find should be collected. If that behavior persists, Ban them from the system.

    If someone Breaks a Drivers Nose. jail time automatic, no Two Weekends in Jail along with 30 Hours of Community Service!

    The Policy of referring Illegals to Border Services was correct and it helped protect Citizens of B.C.!

    I doubt very much that thee are many Legally Landed immigrants that would argue with that.

    My Parents Families were both Immigrants to Canada and they managed to live within the System that was here when they arrived!

    If they did not……….


    Most here do not agree with Bateman much of the time as I do but he sure deserves everyone’s respect and admiration on the Plebiscite Issue.

    He is taking on everyone on this! Everyone including The Provincial Government, those Intellectual Giants including Mayors Gregor, Hepburn, Moore, and even the new Shrill Voice from the Mayor of New West!!! Here comes his 15 minutes!!

    Keep in mind he is also facing down Big Business, Big unions, and many more, not to mention the most likely $ 10 Million they of OUR Tax Dollars they have in their “War Chest”

    A tip of the Hat to Batemant!!

    Non Con – 114

    Yes, I agree 100%!!!!


    Whether it be Consolidation or in some cases shared information and infrastructure, it would save the “Great unwashed” untold Millions of Dollars if only the “Ego’s on Two Legs” that occupy Mayors, Councilor, and Senior Civil Servant Offices could get their “Act Together”!!

  16. e.a.f. says:

    I certainly wasn’t suggesting subsidized housing for anyone. I was simply writing that police, people who work for the City of Vancouver can’t afford to live there.

    We keep hearing from people who think others ought to bike or walk, whatever to work, but the reality is the distances are to great. For most cars continue to be the best way to get around. In Europe many live much closer to work, therefore its easier to bike to work.

  17. 13 says:

    Correct me if Im wrong but didnt the city of Vancouver have a scheme to sell property to public sector workers at reduced prices or cheaper financing . Might have been in the False Creek area or in the olympic village.

  18. BMCQ says:

    e.a.f. – 116


    I wish Commutes were easier. I agree, in a perfect World it would be much better for everyone if we all lived closer to work!

    The advantage that so many Cities on The East Coast, especially NY have over us here is the fact that Subways, Trains and other forms of shall we say more Rapid Transit were put in place when costs were manageable and not many of the logistical problems were present. We out here and say Los Angeles have many more hoops to jump through than NY City, London and others when they implemented their Systems.

    Imagine no Environmental Controls, No Politicians Opposing, No “Push Back” from “The Great Unwashed”.

    A Developers Dream Scenario for sure!!

    I commute to work at 5:00 AM, it is about 13 Miles. If I go home at say 4 or 5 PM it takes between 50 and 65 Minutes! Same Mileage, just the difference in traffic volume!!

    What I am about to say here may not be so popular but………..

    Many Drivers today, perhaps far too many do not navigate the Roads as well as they should!!!

    No matter how Politically Correct one wishes to be it is time for our Society to demand more from Drivers.

    I see where The Transportation Minister is beginning to make changes on “Left Lane Offenders”. Good Idea!

    It is also time for the Province to toughen up on one’s ability to qualify for a Drivers License.

    Formal Lessons are in order. We also need tougher more stringent Testing before one is to qualify for that License. Drivers should understand Language and Signs before they qualify for that License.

    Just how much better would a Drivers Commute be if we toughened up on peoples ability to attain a Drivers License?

    Imagine having the bulk of Drivers out there that actually could Drive a Car properly and could understand just what the hell they were doing!

    That would not be a Transit solution but I am sure if we took those steps it would make Commuters times just a little bit better.

    Not to mention perhaps even a whole lot safer!!!!!!

    When I am in The Bay Area on Business I Quite often I take BART from SFO to the last Stop in Oakland then Cab to my desired location and it works very well. Not a good idea to walk from Oakland to the Waterfront Docks in Alameda!!

    To me BART for a West Coast System seems to work quite well. Just my opinion.

  19. Scott says:

    I will vote no. I like how they try to sell me on voting yes because it will be independently audited. Enron was independently audited, look how that turned out. And in this debate you don’t hear how much the cities rake in for developers fees and I do not believe any of that is turned over to Translink. Look at the development around Metrotown and SW Marine at Cambie. I wonder if Translink got a cent of any of those fees, probably not. I will be voting no. Cristy Crunch, fix the behemoth Translink and then come to me.

    (Response: Exactly …fix what’s wrong FIRST, cut the waste FIRST, show us TransLink can operate properly FIRST ..and THEN come for the billions more for expansion. h.o)

  20. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#117 “13”
    “the city of Vancouver have a scheme to sell property to public sector workers at reduced prices or cheaper financing . Might have been in the False Creek area or in the olympic village.”

    Ah yes the city of Van’s Owe-limp-ick sized dabbling into the real estate market after the meltdown of their New York developer. Subtrades threatening to sue the site for unpaid invoices was the impetus for a hurried take over by the city of Van.
    Apparently there are STILL 18 units that Rennie and Associates are trying to flog off. So much for the “buy now or be left out forever” breathless ads of 4 YEARS ago.
    And the rumours of “green” Vancouver quietly allowing street parking all around the site while the sale goes on and on and on. Parking will be verboten once that site is sold out….. Nice marketing ploy..
    Even mortgaged subsidized city workers either didnt qualify for a mortgage or didnt want the crappy “leftover” digs available.
    What is the final tally on that site? $500 million? $750?
    Quite a tax legacy for Vancouver residents. The 2 week party that has a 20 year fiscal hangover.
    Could be worse, Sochi cost $50 Billion

    (Response: I wonder if people in Russia are blogging about what a waste the Sochi Olympics were! 🙂 h.o)

  21. 13 says:

    To Morry
    The mayors are holding telephone town hall meetings in support of their funding plan. They will not allow any media involvement. Morry why do you think this is? Why doesnt the yes side want these “town hall” meetings made public? Morry even a die hard supporter as yourself must be a tad bit concerned about this lack of transperancy.
    My guess is they dont want the public to hear some of the hard questions that are being asked. But and this is a big but Morry, who knows because the public (media) are not allowed to report.
    In a word this is BIZZARE behavior.

  22. 13 says:

    Another day, another desperate ploy by the yes side. Todays grasped straw is named Jimmy Pattison. The first thing that comes to my mind is why would a successful buisnessman want to attach his reputation to translink?
    Mr Pattison God bless him is at an age where he might not be around to oversee this grandiose scheme. By the time the 1,000,000 new people arrive Jimmy might have brought that number down by one.
    Still the yes side seems unable to come to grip with the sad truth. Translink is an albatross that isnt going away.
    They will need a headline like:
    Provincial Government caves in to pressure. Entire board at Translink fired. Premier swears that not one penny more will be wasted by tax payers on Translink. As we feel the board was fired with cause we will not pay any severance. Todd Stone ordered to take on all transit improvments in BC and ensure that every penny spent will be accounted for.
    By the way they just announced that Jim Pattison will have no real control over translink. He will not be able to make any changes to the organization. These people must think the no side is a dumb as a bag of hammers

  23. nonconfidencevote says:

    I just recieved an email in my “junk” folder from a pro “yes” vote “Leadnow” website?
    Is this part of the millions being spent to convince me to vote “yes”?
    They are saying “Big Oil” is behind the “No” vote because they dont want more transit…………
    Jesus ! Will these “Yes” people stop at NOTHING?

  24. larry Bennett says:

    noncon – When you used the name of the Son of God, the Incarnation of the Logos of God, the Promised One, the Desire of the Everlasting Hills, the Messsiah, – I trust it was in prayer!
    If not, perhaps you should look at the 2nd commandant of the Decalogue. Charley Hebdo we don’t need. Just a gentle reminder.

  25. nonconfidencevote says:

    Oops, I was wrong
    Jimmy Pattison, will lead ANOTHER committee of “independant” “auditors” who will look at Translinks expenditures and make recommendations…….
    Non binding recommendations which will have zero authority to enforce anything…..

    How about hiring Price WaterHouse or any other accounting firm and let them run Translink? Then fire all the incompetant overpaid monkeys on the board that hear no evil, see no evil , speak no evil…………

  26. larry Bennett says:

    I recall during Expo 86, when Jimmy demanded receipts for every single expenditure, from taxi fares up. He’s the man! I mean he didn’t get wealthy by being lazy and stupid. I do wonder however, what ever possessed him to hire one dispossessed ex-premier of the socialized class, for such an important job. Proof my friends, that people do change.

  27. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#125 larry B

    You must be awful busy correcting people that use the Lord’s( if you’re a Christian) name in vain.
    My black atheist heart merely skips a beat for a nanosecond and then goes on beating.
    No offense intended but no apology will be forth coming.
    Jesus is a spanish name pronounced “Hey-soos’.
    Take it up with the spanish parents who name their children “Heysoos” but spell it Jesus.

  28. RIsaak says:

    Still waiting for a yes side shill who does not have any financial stake in the albatross called Translink. Pattison owns Seaboard advertising which has all the bus shelter ads, ergo he is only protecting his stake in the Translink shell game.

    Every so called expert I’ve seen endorsing this new assault on our money has a financial stake in Translink or is a government employee.

    The news media, Global, News 1130 etc. have all trotted out the stories on how we will be left behind if we do not endorse this new tax. Hardly any mention of the waste and no comparisons to the other similar systems on our continent, why? Advertising dollars (taxpayer funds which could be far better utilized elsewhere) have yet again clouded most of the last strands of objectivity left in the main stream media these days.
    No real mention of the bidding process (one that all but eliminates any bidder not called SNC Lavalin) which is anything but best practices in the construction industry. Handing engineer, design and build to a single corporate entity is akin to giving the hen house keys to foxes and coyotes.
    Transit police force that chooses which laws and which law enforcement agencies to cooperate with. The remuneration of Transit police exceeding the level of both RCMP and VPD.
    Far too many taxpayers dollars spent trying to convince us this tax is a necessity. Jordan Bateman is schooling, Gregor, Christy, Meggs, Moore, Brodie etc. and doing a great job of raising concerns that the elected and employed folks at Translink want to avoid at all costs.
    Sadly my 30 yr. old child has never voted in her life, thanks to Translink she is now registered and solely to vote no, 4 of her friends have all done the same. Thanks to the Translink pay more tax crew, my child has finally engaged her democratic rights, seriously the only positive thing for me out of this whole fiasco.

    (Response: I think what many of those pushing the Yes side don’t realize, or conveniently overlook, is that MANY of those voting No understand we do need much better public transit/transportation services and infrastructure. But FIRST TransLink or whatever other better management setup can be established MUST show they’re competent, efficient and have stopped the waste….come back to us in a couple of years …AFTER they do that. h.o.)

  29. D. M. Johnston says:

    If there was any doubt that the Vancouver Sun supports the YES side in the upcoming plebiscite, the Saturday March 7 Vancouver Sun, leaves no doubt.

    First of all, we have Daphne Bramham, calling all those not voting YES, bad citizens and in the electronic version of the Sun, we had Ian Black, extolling the virtues of a YES vote.

    BC Yellow Journalism at its worst.

    RIaask has got it right, but the following little twist adds insult to injury.

    I was invited to attend the South Surrey town hall meeting on transit and on Thursday @ 7PM, I was duly connected to the forum. Surprise, surprise, the mellow voice of Bill Good, chanted the YES side theme, pretending to be a moderator.

    After a long winded speeches from the three politicians, showed clearly they did not have a clue about transit and then the selected participants were asked to vote via the phone YES; or Leaning YES; Maybe YES; Thinking YES; or NO.

    Then the listener’s questions (I had a strange feeling they were staged) and by pressing #3 on the phone’s key pad, you alert the operator that you want to pose a question.

    Pressing #3 early one, the operator never responded and pressing #3 again, no response. Could it be that because I voted “NO” on the phone, I was censored from asking questions.

    At 8 PM all ended abruptly and I was disconnected.

    An expensive YES vote advert, that is all this town hall meeting was about, it was not about informing the public.

    The YES side truly does not get it and I’m afraid they mirror TransLink’s obtuse understanding of public transit. The public are mad, they are fed up with an incompetent organization, that seems bursting at the seems with highly paid bureaucrats, all eager to screw the taxpayer out of more money.

    (Response: It will be interesting to see how the public react to all this …when the ballots are counted. And how secure will the vote be…with thousands of ballots going unopened into apartment mailroom waste baskets! h.o)

  30. nonconfidencevote says:

    @ Harvey
    “It will be interesting to see how the public react to all this …when the ballots are counted. And how secure will the vote be…with thousands of ballots going unopened into apartment mailroom waste baskets! h.o)’

    I was thinking the EXACT same thing. This could be a sham of a vote when one considers the “mail out” and the return.
    Who’s monitoring the letters, who’s monitoring the count?

  31. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#130 D M Johnston
    “Bill Good, chanted the YES side theme, pretending to be a moderator…..”

    Hilarious! But dont forget Bill had years of experience pretending to be an objective moderator on CKNW for ‘debates” about the Liberal party.
    Pathetic if it wasnt so sad.

  32. 13 says:

    Larry #127
    I must admit that I was ashamed of myself when a friend pointed out the obvious to me just recently. Glen Clark helped engineer the destruction of the BC NDP. His reward has been ongoing for many years now.

    Just a thought re the people that want to give Translink more money.
    Do you think they would buy a ticket to cruise on the Titanic with knowledge before hand of the outcome.?
    Do you think they would plan to be on the roof of the Trade Centre on Sept 11 2001?

    Probably not. Yet knowing without a doubt that Translink is incapable of efficient buisness practices they soldier on supporting a tax that will not replace tolls. Will not make the compass card work. Will not make riders pay their fares. Will not make fare paid zones impossible to access without having paid the fare. Will not stop the costly use of a private police force. Will not eliminate the over abundance of managers.

  33. larry Bennett says:

    13 – Saw 4 security guards at (the usually placid) Paterson Station, the other morning. They were wearing a uniform I had never seen before. After showing my pass, I kidded with them, asking if they were sent there by the “Yes” group. They kind of guffawed and went about their business. Hope this might be a sign of fear being generated by the up-coming poll. Haven’t seen a “bluecoat” on the platform for ages – perhaps SkyTrain has opted for some kind of contract security at a cost saving?

  34. 13 says:

    Yesterdays Yes side propaganda was a drs group that says a yes vote will make us all healthier.
    I guess if we follow that line of reason if we raise the tax by 50% instead of .5 we will be able to stop funding health care.
    Todays study group claims that a yes vote will create between 500,000 and 1 1/2 BILLION in economic benefits. Typical translink accounting. They need a cushion of over one billion dollars incase they need some more managers.
    I dont know about others but every time they make outlandish claims I feel insulted. People are not a stupid as as the yes side assumes.

  35. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#134 l B

    “Saw 4 security guards at (the usually placid) Patterson Station…..”

    Typical security/law enforcement. Wouldnt occur to them to “hang out” at ANY of the Surrey Skytrain stations.
    Or for their managers to post them to ANY of the more crime ridden ones a la New West, Commercial, etc.
    Translinks myopic “vision” in a nut shell.

  36. 13 says:

    So who will it be today? Every day the yes side trots out a new group that supports the yes side.
    Whos left to give unbridled support to another tax increase? The association of pest controlers, VANDU, Critical mass, Baby sitters, gutter cleaners, gardeners, plumbers, etc. With all of those organizations on board how is it the polls show the no side leading?
    This also highlites a problem with trade unions and a variety of other entities. How dare they give their nod , support, or worse yet money to support a cause that might not be supported by membership. Sometimes they support issues that work against their members best financial interests. Van City comes to mind for myself. I have phoned and written to voice my opposition to the money they donate towards various enviromental causes that I do not support.
    Check out the electronic billboard beside the Queensborough Bridge. Pretty snazzy . Ill bet the tax payers of New Westminster that dont support the yes side will get a refund on their property tax. Maybe we should all get refunds.

  37. Betty says:

    Translink speaks with forked tongue….across from our business we see their nonpassenger vehicles getting detailed regularly…….at $200 and more a shot. This is just steps from marpole where they have full cleaning people and equipment for their buses. What a waste if taxpayers money!

  38. BMCQ says:

    13 – 137 – Wow!! 137 that is amazing.

    I agree 100% with your assessment!!

    The strategy/actions of the whole “YES” Group is becoming nothing more than a “SCAM”!!!!!!!!!!

    Absolutely Sickening!!

    I do not know much about Jordan Bateman but I have a lot of respect for him. He is “Standing Tall” during this debate and he deserves a round of Applause from all of us!!!

    Absolutely amazing how 90% of those that Post here are Left of Centre and then there is the rest of us that are a little more informed and enlightened can find common ground on this subject!!!! I for one feel very good about that fact.

    Stand your Ground People!!!

    Before some of you run off and “Light Your Hair on Fire” the comment about being more enlightened was my attempt at humour!!

    Soldier on Mr. Bateman!

    And a message to The “Yes” Side.

    Before you deserve any more Funding from “The Great Unwashed” we have one suggestion.

    ‘FIX TRANSLINK’!!!!!!!!


  39. 13 says:

    Today Eckford had Mayor moonbeam on for an interview. I have to admit Mr. Eckford didnt give Gregor a pass. He hammered away at Translink and Gregor was not up to the fight. Gregor was grasping at straws and did not seem to have answers for Eckford questions.
    The we have to vote yes to stave off gridlock caused by 1,000,000 new Vancouverites argumnet was lame and weak.

  40. 13 says:

    I dont know how the rest feel about fare evaders but I feel cheated. First of all I always pay my fare even though I do not regularly use transit. I find that the transit system works quite well and compared to a taxi is affordable.
    Same can be said of the Port Mann and Golden Ears tolls. While I do my best to avoid driving over those two bridges when I have no choice they work well.
    Having said that, because the authority that collect the fares and tolls doesnt seem to care if they get paid or not , why pay them?
    Just a thought but why dont we all stop paying . This way the system should fail and Translink will have no choice but to figure out a way to collect from EVERYONE.
    To pay for a service that is provided for free on the most basic level is stupid. Only after you factor in ethical questions does paying become the right choice.

  41. Martin c says:

    Why not plan the movement of people all over the lower mainland. First why can’t all the Government offices which are mainly downtown in the business areas move out to areas not congested. If not viable open them up on a 7 day week timing and work evening shifts. Move UBC, Surrey could house it where the Casino was voted out of South Surrey. Why? Many buses leave full to the Canada line in the rush hour and return empty. Fill them up with Students moving out of the congested Broadway route to sunny South Surrey White Rock. Less people would now be moving into the congested areas. Share out where people work. This would help to plan more use out of how transit is utilized now.

    (Response: Some of that HAS taken place under the Livable Region Plan adopted by the GVRD at the time in the 70s…shifting commercial office zoning to the burbs. Thus Burnaby’s towers,including GVRD HQ, Surreys growth, including TransLink HQ and even decentralization of commercial offices to Richmond, Coquitlam etc. But at the same time, there has been such a huge influx of newcomers … raising the pressures. No doubt we need better transit and transportation…and huge additional infrastructure, but not until TransLink proves they can properly handle what they now get. h.o.)

  42. 13 says:

    @Martin c. Interesting idea to move UBC to South Surrey. A land developers dream come true.
    The idea where people get to work 7 days a week and 24 hours a day is one of the best / worst ideas that have ver been floated.
    Best Idea: Spread the rush hour commute out over the whole day. Better use of transit, less car traffic.
    WORST IDEA EVER: If you happen to be one of the poor slobs that gets to work from 10pm till 6 am. Mybe with split days off. Mon and Sat. Hell maybe even a split shift. It always sounds great to say keep trucks off the road during rush hour. Keep trucks rolling at night. Thankfully to operate 24/7 means all of the factories and warehouses and truck repair facilities would need to go 24/7. Its a great idea as long as your not the one doing it.

  43. BMCQ says:

    Martin – 142

    I agree and have felt the same way for many years.

    There is no need for Mayor Robertsons “Golden Tunnel to travel out Broadway. Now after much discussion I am led to understand that that Genius Gregor only wants to have the tunnel to travel out to Broadway and Alma. Is that true?

    If so how will the thousands of students work their way to UBC Campus?

    Will Doug Henning and the “Flying Yogit Party” be taking transferring students from Alma to UBC in shifts?

    There was no reason UBC Admin and several Faculties could not have been left at the Main UBC Campus with a Satellite Campus out in Surrey, on the Sky Train Route around the new Surrey Down Town development on KG Hwy.

    It is obvious that between all of the “Dirty Little Secrets’ of TransLink coming out, The “Elitist’ TransLink Board and the “Impotent” Mayors Board The Translink
    Plebiscite is doomed to fail.

    Yes, I called it the “TransLink Plebiscite” and that is because that is exactly what it is contrary what that Public Speaking Genius Gregor and his Minions try to tell us.

    I am aware Martin that there is a Transportation Plan for YVR but it needs to be “Blown Up”, get some real professionals involved and make the change you have suggested.

    In fact there are many other changes that could and should take place and a proper plan should be put in place before we let people like Gregor, Hepburn, Moore and others do some damage that can never be repaired.

    The whole YVR needs to be decentralized and each Municipality in The YVR need to be a part of that solution.

    They can start with TransLink, then move on to a new St. Paul’s Hospital with a UBC Teaching Hospital attached, that would take much of The Medical Faculty to a location on Sky Train.

    Sorry I am beginning to veer off topic here.

    Only a suggestion H.O. but I believe that if you had anopen Thread here that would allow Punters to debate and put forth ideas on an overall plan for YVR it could prove to be very interesting.

    How about some consolidation of municipalities as a start?

  44. 13 says:

    @ BMCQ The tunnel will end at Arbutus not Alma. Arbutus makes less esnce than Alma. If it made its way to Alma the UBC crowd could then take the moving sidewalk the rest of the way

  45. BMCQ says:

    13 – 143

    My mistake, I meant to say Arbutus. That is why I was so shocked!!!

    Who is responsible for that decision? Crazy, it does not make sense to go to Arbutus at all!!

    Having said that I personally do not believe in the “Gregor Golden Tunnel” anyway.

    UBC should be split up and there is no reason there cannot be a large Campus somewhere out in Surrey, perhaps where Martin suggested. It make smuch more sense to me.

    Some Admin, Maintenance, Faculty and a large number of students would be served well with a large UBC Surrey Campus.

    In fact if the Campus were decentralized and there were more satellite Campus locations there would be no need for any more transit out to the Endowment Land Campus.

    Just think how much less traffic from Delivery Trucks alone let alone from other Traffic if the Endowment Land Campus was reduced in size instead of growing it!

    I know, it is easy for me to say but I am sure this could be accomplished and it would benefit everyone concerned, especially the already “Hard Stretched” Tax Payer, the people that really suffer more than most when it comes time to pay the Bill.

    I have lived in Vancouver my whole life and I honestly believe the bulk of the new TransLink System should be constructed South of the Fraser /River.

    As far as I am concerned it is more important for the areas like Surrey with a large growing populations and little transportation to benefit as opposed to Vancouver and Burnaby that already have more than their fair share.

    Thanks for the nudge.

    Look for “Big No” Votes from Burnaby, North and West Van, Maple Ridge, and others as they all already have Sky Train type Technology or in some cases they are not on the list to get. Why would a person from say Maple Ridge or Burnaby Vote Yes?

  46. BMCQ says:

    Please do not think I am in support of “Yes” because of my third to last paragraph.

    TransLink should only receive more Funding from The Public if they Fix the Problems.

    That includes going back to a Crown Corp, Fire the Board, no large salaries for Board members, use Elected MLA’s as Board Members, Fix Fare Evasion, Compass Card, control salaries of Cops and other TransLink Workers, that includes gaining control of Benefit Packages.

  47. 13 says:

    The idea of decentralizing UBC makes perfect sence. Much like amalgamating the 20 or so municipalities into one or three or four makes sence.
    The people in power will never give into common sence. To make these sweeping changes which would save us millions or even billions in wasted duplications and save untold amounts of pension, benefits, and related costs.
    It will take a provincial government that isnt worried about really rocking the boat. I guess more like blowing the boat into little pieces.

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