From the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation:

There is a lot at stake in this provincial election. Already, transportation is becoming a key issue in the campaign, as evidenced by two announcements by the BC Liberals and BC NDP yesterday, proposing changes to the region’s tolling system.
The Mayors’ Council responded to the proposals by pointing out that neither party has yet committed to workable solutions that will reduce congestion across our region over the long term. Completing the 10-Year Vision should be the first priority for both our provincial and regional governments if we want to relieve congestion, improve affordability and protect the quality of life in Metro Vancouver.
If you haven’t already, please Take Action on our website, where you can show your support for completing the 10-Year Vision and take a brief survey. Responses are by first name and postal code only. Encourage your friends, family, colleagues and others to visit our site and Take Action, and we’ll be able to share your responses with the political parties as part of our candidate outreach activities.
 

Comments

  1. Did they forget the word “left” or “NDP” after the word “vote” ?
    Of course everyone hates congestion.
    What is not asked, or stated is
    a) how much it costs NOR
    b) that many roads have bottlenecks (Lionsgate, 2nd Narrows, Massey Tunnel, missing Boundary Road extension to connect to Hwy in Richmond) NOT
    c) that taxes are plenty high in MetroVan already NOR
    d) that civil servants are grossly overpaid and that the $5B collected annually in MetroVan is PLENTY to pay for it all. Just adjust the salaries to market levels, i.e. down 10-33% i.e. do not overpay very safe public sector jobs at city hall. Of course that is not mentioned in this gimmicky poll.

    1. Thomas, for a man with a highly responsible job, you do say some extraordinarily stupid things. A consistent theme in your posts is that civil servants are grossly overpaid. They are not, and your calls to reduce them are bad for the economy and bad for society.
      I would guess that over the last twenty years, counting the various pay freezes and below cost of living wage settlements, civil servants have at best received something less than the cost of living. It’s a sad reality that for many lower level positions, people in the private sector have fared worse. In order to have a good society, for the civil service to join that race to the bottom seems ill advised. It’s also worth noting that if you look at the pay of civil servants in the 50k – 150k zone, many of the professionals and tradespeople could earn better salaries in the private sector, representing great value for the taxpayer. Civil service compensation as a totality is not a problem.
      You are keen to cut the wages of people at the lower levels of the public service, but sticking mostly to the economics, why would you undertake such an exercise. Factoring in 40% marginal taxes, loss of GST, PST, and the multiplier effect of spending that is overwhelmingly in local economy it’s a poor return, perhaps for each dollar cut you might, might save 50 cents. Not to mention the loss of consumer confidence. The low return on a “policy” of cutting wages and salaries alone makes me question why anyone would engage in such a flawed, mean spirited and pointless endeavour with such low benefits to taxpayers. Reducing aggregate demand in a low growth economic environment, in an economy that is based 70% on consumer consumption, invites recession.
      You may or may not be aware, but even entry level civil servants are subject to the official secrets act. A great way for B.C. to become even more of a banana republic than it already seems to be, is to underpay civil servants to the point that paying them to disclose sensitive information becomes a widespread practise. Imagine what property developers could do with some inside information.
      Grossly overpaid civil servants? Please. A modest premium over a living wage is what prevails for the majority at best. If it really bothers you, please hang a sign on the front door of your workplace that clearly states that the business of public servants is not welcome there due to their “excessive” compensation.

      1. We should keep a tally of things that Beyer is angry about besides civil servant salaries … First Nation rights, unions, perceived freebies to the disenfranchised …
        Why not get angry that people are depending on food banks; that we have a high child poverty rate, homelessness – while billionaires have thousands of wage slaves. That is something real do be angry about.

        1. No wage slaves in Canada. Few billionaires. Indeed as a tax payer I am very angry at the excessive pay and benefits paid to people with very secure jobs, more sick days, shorter life time hours worked and shorter annual hours worked than comparable private sector jobs. No wonder we have a deficit and cannot find money for buses, subways, bridges or the homeless.
          Equality starts there, no superior pay for equal work. http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/7290-public-sector-workers-oped.html
          From this report: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/comparing-government-and-private-sector-compensation-in-canada
          “Using data on individual workers from January to December 2015, this report estimates the wage differential between the government and private sectors in Canada. It also evaluates four available non-wage benefits in an attempt to quantify compensation differences between the two sectors.
          After controlling for such factors as gender, age, marital status, education, tenure, size of firm, type of job, industry, and occupation, Canada’s government sector workers (from the federal, provincial, and local governments) were found to enjoy a 10.6 percent wage premium, on average, over their private sector counterparts in 2015. When unionization status is factored into the analysis, the wage premium for the government sector declines to 7.2 percent.
          The available data on non-wage benefits suggest that the government sector enjoys an advantage over the private sector. For example, 89.3 percent of government workers in Canada are covered by a registered pension plan, compared to 23.8 percent of private sector workers. Of those covered by a registered pension plan, 93.7 percent of government workers enjoyed a defined benefit pension compared to just under half (45.0 percent) of private sector workers. In addition, government workers retire earlier than their private sector counterparts—about 2.3 years earlier on average—and are much less likely to lose their jobs (3.8 percent in the private sector versus 0.5 percent in the public sector).
          Moreover, full-time workers in the government sector lost more work time in 2015 for personal reasons (12.7 days on average) than their private sector counterparts (7.8 days).”

        2. Thomas, you just don’t get it. There are two sides to every story and the other side to yours is that private sector wages are way too low. If they were higher, then more taxes could be collected and overall taxation reduced. This could be accomplished by raising the minimum wage and by providing a guaranteed living wage to everyone. Even former conservative senator Hugh Segal is pushing for a guaranteed basic income and a trial program has been set up in Ontario:
          http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/basic-income-is-not-just-about-work-its-about-health/article32709632/
          We could really use something like this in BC since we are near the bottom in terms of poverty levels, minimum wage, welfare rates, etc

  2. The Mayors are again offering and pushing the exact same document they used for the referendum that they lost. The link leads again to the same document that was rejected by the voters by 2-1.
    Once again they offer zero in road improvements in that document. Nothing to relieve the problems along 1st Avenue or at the bottom of Oak or Knight Street. It’s all about their other wish list items.
    We also have a new federal government and partner with new offers for support for the transit plans and the provincial government has also offered more money for various projects.
    All the mayors offer is their old plan from about five years ago.
    You’d think they would update it since it was thoroughly trashed before.

    1. We voted on an additional sales tax, not a plan, IIRC.
      You may have interpreted the plebiscite question differently.

      1. I guess I read the question, which clearly stated the plan was what the vote was all about.
        In the real world the commentators, academics and the pundits all say the vote was about TransLink and the massive wasting of money, as well as the lack of vision or plan for the outer regions.
        This was the meat of the wording ” …dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan …”
        As Peter Ladner wrote too: “Voters were absolutely correct to be disgusted at the amounts spent by the Yes campaign. The $6 million-plus in public spending could have funded a lot of transit improvements.”

      2. “I guess I read the question….”
        If you say so. Read it again and explain how a new tax isn’t the subject of the following question. Not “what they all say” but rather what the question says.
        “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan?”
        If there was a follow up question asking if one supported the plan or not, regardless of the funding source, please provide a link.

    2. They think that more votes equal an NDP victory ! Thus: more “good jobs” for unionized construction workers on public infrastructure projects and more civil servants. This will push BC, currently the #1 in the country for economic growth and unemployment ranking down quite a few notches !
      Higher taxes and more spending is all some parties and many city councils know. They know little about economics, sound fiscal management, competition or wage constraints.
      Spend, baby, spend ! After all, it is not their money.
      To quote Maggie Thatcher ” The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

      1. “God, what a depressing day that was and what an irony that Britain’s first female prime minister had to be Margaret Thatcher. She was the woman who asked, ‘What has feminism ever done for me?’ Well, dear, if you need to ask that question then you’re obviously not very bright”
        ― Jo Brand, Look Back in Hunger

        1. I think she was awesome as she got the UK off socialism and the iron grip of the unions and destructive labour policies. For a good evening of fun watch the movie ” The Iron Lady” with Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher. Kinds reminds me a little bit of Christy Clark. A tough nut, very popular but hated on the left, steadfast, pro workers, for lower taxes, pro middle class and a prosperous economy.

      2. The problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money — Thatcher.
        By her own definition she was a honking giant of a socialist. She financed her excessive cuts to the public sector with one-time peak revenue from North Sea oil, which then went into a steep 2/3rds decline ever since. In other words, she spent the inheritance like a drunken sailor.

    3. Eric, I believe that Pattullo Bridge is part of the plan. Also, work is being (has been?) done by CoV on the north end of the Knight bridge. Oak bridge is provincial jurisdiction and they do not seem to want to be involved in regional planning except to work against the elected representatives of the people living in the municipalities. Even if the Knight and Oak bridges were doubled, where would the traffic go? And if you think that 1st Ave is bad now, just wait till the tolls on Port Mann get reduced/eliminated.

  3. Transportation is NOT a” key issue” in this election. The tolling vollies were just impulsive, populist headline bait, targetted to a small income matter, not congestion. Housing/health care, economy/jobs, poverty/ homelessness are the issues which have been identified by surveys.
    I find the messaging of the Mayors is repugnant; that congestion is a disease that can be eradicated. The link to health care is idiotic, but may have been the brain-fart of a staffer. It is incongruent as with homelessness, which existed before Christ, and a politician promises to “end” it within a handful of years.

  4. Thomas, you have it all wrong.
    THIS is the most powerful instrument of Socialism ever invented …
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Yellow_road_marking.jpg
    Trillions upon trillions in public funds have been appropriated worldwide for generations to underpin it.
    It represents ultimate government control, from totalitarian communist or free market libertarian.
    It neatly divides humanity into simplistic categories of Left and Right.
    There are deadly consequences if you dare to cross it.
    No other object modifies human behavior as effectively.
    No other program propagandizes the masses as ‘free individuals’ while they are in fact under mass control.
    It is so ubiquitous it has become invisible.

  5. So Thomas, if the NDP wins the election will it cause you to escape our socialist shackles and move to Texas?

    1. 1. Your comment is off-topic and solely a personal attack. 2. It’s neither witty, nor funny. 3. It’s a re-election.

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