TransLink Wasting Taxpayer Money on Yes Campaign

January 19, 2015
  • TransLink plans to spend $4 million in taxpayer money to get a YES vote
  • Mayors also using taxpayer-funded resources to get TransLink tax through

VANCOUVER, B.C.: As TransLink and its mayors prepare to spend at least $4 million in taxpayer money to get a Yes vote for their TransLink tax plan, the No TransLink Tax campaign has written the Auditor General for Local Government to:

a)      Ensure that no public money from TransLink or any local governments (including city halls and Metro Vancouver) is spent to influence the outcome of the vote.

b)      Ensure that any advertising by TransLink or local governments designed to “educate” voters about the plebiscite is vetted by the Auditor General for Local Government for neutrality and bias before being released.

Former TransLink Mayors’ Council chair Richard Walton confirmed the $4 million TransLink spend in media interviews.

“TransLink is trying to buy votes with taxpayers’ money,” said Jordan Bateman, spokesperson for the No TransLink Tax campaign. “The Mayors’ Council meeting on Friday was nothing more than a taxpayer-funded campaign rally. It’s clear taxpayers can’t trust TransLink, the mayors, or the minister to restrain themselves from blowing through millions of our dollars – so it’s up to an independent officer like the Auditor General to hold them accountable.”

TransLink mayors have confirmed they have done expensive polling, focus group testing, and other obvious campaign spending – on top of whatever TransLink’s $4 million will buy.

“Isn’t it amazing how TransLink, while constantly complaining they’re broke, can spend $4 million to get a Yes vote?” said Bateman. “If this is such a great plan, why can’t the Yes campaign win it on their own merits and by fundraising from someone other than taxpayers? It’s just another piece of TransLink’s wasteful legacy.”

The No TransLink Tax campaign also called on the BC NDP to stand up against taxpayers funding election campaign ads as it did in the lead-up to the 2013 provincial election. In that campaign, they proposed giving more power to the auditor general to check government ads – similar to what the No TransLink Tax campaign is calling for today.

“The BC NDP used to be against taxpayers funding partisan advertising,” said Bateman. “But when it benefits their own political agenda and ever-wasteful TransLink, they get as quiet as church mice. Given the Liberals’ and TransLink mayors’ mismanagement of this file, it’s time for John Horgan to stand up for fairness for taxpayers.”

The letter can be seen at here.


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