They’re back, attacking a favourite target. In an op-ed in the Sun, director Canadian Taxpayers Federation director Kris Sims says:
Remember when the people of Metro Vancouver overwhelmingly said “No” to a TransLink tax hike in 2015? Bureaucrats and experts had all proclaimed at the time that a sales tax foisted on people to pay for even more TransLink was the right way to go.
Thankfully, there was a referendum and the people rejected the new tax. Now, the politicians have stripped voters of their right to a referendum on transit taxation and want to make us pay anyway.
There is one ballot box they cannot avoid, though. The municipal elections are being held this fall and motorists need to call campaigning politicians and tell them that they will be out of a job unless they cancel this latest gas tax hike.
Why does CTF hate TransLink so much? What could be driving it?
First, a piece from the Tyee:
Right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch are among the funders of the international Atlas Network, the Canadian Taxpayer Federations’ partner.
And then this from the New York Times:
In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee — the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government. …
The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending stems from their longstanding free-market, libertarian philosophy. It also dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways.
One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.
It seems that the CTF are the go-to guys for the Koch anti-transit strategy in Canada, once removed.