No TransLink Tax corrects YES campaign’s spin

NO TAX LOGOTHE No TransLink Tax campaign on Tuesday corrected several erroneous comments made by TransLink Mayors and other Yes side supporters over the past week.


Yes Spin: The Mayors claim congestion will cost the region $2 billion in 2045 if people vote NO. (February 15, 2015)

The Facts: The numbers, produced by a company that has received $766,000 in consulting fees from TransLink, are highly suspect. They use a year 2045 scenario where Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner has broken her election promise to build Surrey light rail with or without a YES vote and where a new Pattullo toll bridge has not been built – something even TransLink says will happen with or without a YES vote. A NO vote does not mean no transportation investment will happen over the next three decades – that’s a YES side scare tactic. Further, the TransLink Mayors’ entire plan could be funded without this sales tax.

Yes Spin: “One million more residents (in Metro Vancouver over the next 25 years) in the absence of an effective transit system is 600,000 more cars,” claimed David Suzuki Foundation CEO Peter Robinson. (February 5, 2015)

The Facts: The Mayors’ own numbers show spending $7.5 billion will only take 23,571 of those cars off the road. With more than 1.5 million vehicles expected in the region in 2030, that’s a difference of 1.5% – one out of every 67 cars.


Yes Spin: New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote claimed a NO vote won’t solve the issues at TransLink. (February 16, 2015)

The Facts: Last week, the TransLink Mayors issued a news release touting the Ian Jarvis demotion on “YES” letterhead. If this plebiscite isn’t about fixing TransLink, how did the growing support of a NO vote spark the Jarvis move? A NO vote sends a clear message to our political leadership: taxpayers want TransLink fixed.


Yes Spin: Cote claims the YES side faces “uphill battle” to get TransLink tax passed. (February 16, 2015)

The Facts: TransLink and its Mayors are pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into pushing for a YES vote. They are trying to buy taxpayers’ votes with taxpayer money. TransLink is said to have a war chest of as much as $6 million in taxpayer dollars, Surrey is spending $300,000, Vancouver is rumoured to be spending $1 million and have dedicated 10 full time staff to the campaign. Other cities such as Port Coquitlam and New Westminster are also spending taxpayer money. These politicians should be held to account for this and asked to fully detail the amount of taxpayer money and resources being allocated to this political campaign.


Yes Spin: “In PoCo, we have the No. 188 bus that runs every 30 minutes. That will be every 15 minutes with the plan,” claimed Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore. (February 15, 2015)

The Facts: Actually, page A-44 of the Mayors’ own plan notes that this route “would not be introduced if new B-Line Coquitlam-Langley via Lougheed/200 Street is introduced,” and further is “not expected to entice many additional auto users onto transit” (p. A-45). According to the documents posted on, only one of these routes will happen. If both are now on the table, what was cut to make room for it?


  1. To sell an impractical budget, benefits are exaggerated and costs understated. Big project promises cannot be guaranteed because of non-binding referendum and funding rejections by federal and provincial governments. Dubious claim of improvements being desperately needed when GVRD has one of the best transit systems in North America. Also claim of congestion costing billions is based on theoretical estimates and not real money. Risk of new tax becoming wasteful cash grab. Auditing won’t stop tax increases since municipal taxes have risen faster than inflation for years. Even without new tax, translink revenue can still grow from current sources.

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