Making the Social, Economic and Governance Case for NO

February 24, 2015

Menzies: “The underlying basis of that tax is that it will disproportionately affect those least able to pay and most likely to take transit.”

VANCOUVER, B.C.: In an op/ed highlighted today by the No TransLink Tax campaign, UBC Professor Charles Menzies makes the case against the TransLink tax, citing social, economic and governance concerns.

Menzies is a two-term, elected councillor on the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) board of directors, which operates as a type of municipal council for the residents of the University of British Columbia. In that role, Menzies voted against the UNA support of the TransLink tax. He is also professor in UBC’s Department of Anthropology.

In an op/ed published in the University Neighbourhoods Association newspaper and on his blog, Menzies made his personal case for a NO vote in this spring’s TransLink tax plebiscite.

“Our current regional transit system is managed like a quasi-private corporation.  Executives are paid outlandish salaries. They are beholden, it seems, to next to no-one,” wrote Menzies in his piece. “The regional mayors, for their part, lack the real courage to stand up to the regional transit authority. The provincial government has managed to absent themselves from meaningful involvement. The entire system is, true to BC form all about political oneupmanship. One almost wishes for the days of highway patronage of the old style Socreds who built highways to win votes.”

The full op/ed is available on Professor Menzies’s blog at Menzies’s post is his personal one, not UBC’s or the UNA’s.