Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Connect the dots....................
The funding that we could be using to begin developing a much-needed LRT system in this region keeps passing us by. At what point will our provincial decision makers start connecting the dots when it comes to funding a strong economy and sustainability?
We watched a ton of money come and go last summer in the form of individual $100 carbon cheques. This money, distributed by the government, was to offset the carbon tax that gasoline consumers started paying in July 08. The government distributed $440 million dollars across British Columbia. If we had pooled our cheques for this region we would have had about $33- million to begin bringing LRT to Greater Victoria. Using carbon tax funding to invest in a regional transportation solution would have been smart and progressive. This government is not there.
A regional LRT system is where we need to go to meet our carbon-reduction targets. Waiting for the guaranteed ridership levels to increase, waiting for pollution to get bad enough, or waiting for the moment when it takes 2 hours to get from the Westshore into Victoria due to traffic snarls, is inappropriate. We only need to look at Portland, Oregon , to know it’s a mistake to wait.
Money invested in LRT in this region will create jobs and stimulate our economy while moving in a direction that we are talking about going. We need government to stop using the word sustainability if they are not prepared to fast track sustainable projects. I don't want my tax money being used to fund single occupancy vehicle projects, such as massive traffic interchanges, I want my tax money solving problems.