Vancouver is an extremely socialist city that’s infused by strains of environmentalism and liberalism. Radical environmentalist protesters block Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand pipeline development to export more Canadian oil, which would lead to more jobs. Vancouver’s city council is dominated by Vision Vancouver, a political party whose platform oozes socialist ideals of “affordable housing” and social services galore. To say that the city is extremely left-wing is an understatement.
That’s exactly what makes it pleasantly surprising that Vancouver’s latest bid to intensify its socialist experiments seems to be hitting a major snag.
The plan to raise provincial sales tax by 0.5% to expand Metro Vancouver’s transit system was championed by mayors from most major Vancouver-area cities as the only thing that would save Vancouver from massive, crippling congestion in the years to come. The “Yes” side — led by the municipal and provincial governments—is actually squandering millions of B.C. taxpayer dollars to aggressively campaign (read: brainwash) for Vancouverites to support this socialist tax hike called the Congestion Improvement Tax.
With just a few weeks to go until the May 29 deadline, polls are showing that the “Yes” side is going down in flames. The latest polling from March shows the “No” side in the lead by a two-to-one margin.
How can that be, though? Vancouver has a long and notorious history as an environmentalist hotbed and continually strives to be the “greenest” city on the planet. People here love tax hikes if they think it helps the greater good in the true, collectivist sense.
For starters, we can thank the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, which has done a powerful job — with very little resources, at that — of persuading Vancouver voters that the transit tax won’t eliminate congestion and will only raise taxes to the tune of about $125 per year for each household. Additionally, it successfully tied the transit tax initiative to TransLink, which is already a much-maligned public-benefit corporation in B.C. In other words, it got out in front of the “Yes” side in the all-important propaganda battle.
Other factors helping the “No” side include the fact that support for the tax hike comes more from young people—but young people don’t tend to vote as much as middle-aged and older folks, who are more opposed to tax raises.
Of course, there’s still a month or so to go in the voting, so things could change. The “Yes” side is unfortunately the Goliath to the fiscal convervatives’ “No” side because they have all the money and the vital ground game in place. As I write this, the socialists are canvassing neighborhoods, spending more money on pro-CIT ads, and doing everything in their power to convert more undecideds to their cause.
We’ll know soon enough which side comes out on top, but one thing’s already for certain: Vancouver’s reputation has already been damaged and will continue to be damaged for a long time because of this extremely divisive and miserably managed transit plebiscite. And you can thank the ruling socialists in the city for this utter disgrace.
As for me, I’m doing my small part by, obviously, just saying “No!” to this tax raise outrage.
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