TransLink Wastes Millions Trying to Buy Tax Vote; Doesn’t Disclose Full Spending

June 12, 2015

VANCOUVER, B.C.: The TransLink Mayors’ admission they spent nearly $6 million in the recent TransLink tax campaign is just the start of the bills taxpayers are paying for the YES side, the No TransLink Tax campaign said today.

“As bad as this report is for taxpayers, it’s a whitewash by the TransLink mayors,” said Jordan Bateman, No TransLink Tax spokesperson. “This spending doesn’t include what we estimate to be at least another million bucks spent by the city halls in favour of the tax, the time dedicated by dozens of TransLink and municipal staff working the YES side, or the money raised by the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition. Why won’t the TransLink Mayors tell taxpayers the whole truth?”

Bateman called on TransLink to immediately release all contracts, requests for proposals (if any were actually issued), invoices and other documents for the companies involved. Such material will come out eventually through Freedom of Information requests, but TransLink can save taxpayers money by proactively releasing them now.

“These TransLink friends and insiders got fat and happy on taxpayer money during this campaign,” said Bateman.

Bateman also called on TransLink to inform the public what protection is in place for the personal information collected by these companies with taxpayer dollars.

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.

“Knowing the TransLink Mayors spent these millions of dollars trying to buy this vote just makes us all the more proud of our scrappy, little No TransLink Tax campaign,” said Bateman. “They used and abused millions and millions in taxpayer money. Whatever the result, we stood up for everyday people and made our case to the voters without wasting millions of their dollars like the Mayors did.”