VANCOUVER, B.C.: Cash-strapped Lower Mainland taxpayers wanting accountability and better management at TransLink are the real winners in today’s historic defeat of the TransLink sales tax, says the No TransLink Tax campaign and Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).
“This is a tremendous victory for taxpayers, our underdog No TransLink Tax campaign and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation,” said Jordan Bateman, No TransLink Tax spokesperson and CTF B.C. Director. “Our campaign didn’t have millions of taxpayer dollars or fancy CEOs committing their groups to our cause – we had everyday taxpayers who simply believe TransLink wastes too much of our money to be trusted with any more of it. This is a win for all of us.”
The No TransLink Tax campaign published its donors and spending twice during the campaign, including a final report two days before voting closed. Total campaign spending for the NO side was $39,687.95, half of which came from the CTF. The YES side spent at least $6.7 million, most of which was taxpayer money.
“The YES side tried everything – spending millions in taxpayer money, crafting rules to favour their side, putting an ad on the ballot itself, and using their political offices to try and quash any dissent,” said Bateman. “They had big business, big government, big labour, big environment and big money. But they didn’t have the people – and this victory belongs to those everyday taxpayers who volunteered their time, spoke with their friends and neighbours, worked social media, made their own signs, and chipped in a few dollars to help us. They deserve better from the leadership of this region, and they let their voice be heard with their ballot.”
With the No TransLink Tax campaign over, the CTF will continue holding TransLink accountable for its actions and pushing for real change at the agency (For more on those changes, click HERE for an op/ed released today by the CTF.)
“It’s time for the premier, minister, mayors and TransLink board to fix this money-wasting, poorly-run agency,” said Bateman. “TransLink has lost the public’s confidence and now they have to listen to taxpayers and rebuild it properly.”