Showing posts from September 27, 2014

Province floats gas tax shift to ferries

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[As though increased fares and fees aren't the same thing as a tax increase! *RON*]
by Jeff Nagel - BC Local News, Tri-City News, 26 September 2014

Transportation Minister Todd Stone is proposing coastal communities turn over federal gas tax transfers they receive to shore up ferry service and help keep a lid on fares.

The idea is getting a cool reception from mayors and councillors in ferry-dependent areas because it would mean the sacrifice of the federal gasoline tax money they now use to fund local infrastructure.

But Stone argued it would not be unlike the decision of Metro Vancouver cities to dedicate all of their federal gas tax transfers to TransLink for public transit.

"Let's think outside the box," Stone said Thursday outside the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

"(Let's) have a discussion around gas tax as a potential source of revenue for BC Ferries service, which would have the effect of applying downwa…

Europe’s Austerity Zombies

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[It's a quote constantly mis-attributed to Einstein that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. The problem here, I think, is that Merkel is in fact getting exactly the result she's hoping for. *RON*]

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Today's Zaman, 26 September 2014

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other pro-austerity European leaders appear to believe. Though facts keep staring them in the face, they continue to deny reality.

Austerity has failed. But its defenders are willing to claim victory on the basis of the weakest possible evidence: the economy is no longer collapsing, so austerity must be working! But if that is the benchmark, we could say that jumping off a cliff is the best way to get down from a mountain; after all, the…

Counterpoint: B.C. mayors filling leadership vacuum in pipeline review process

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[It was just announced that all three emergency resolutions brought forward by Burnaby, Victoria and Vancouver calling for real, credible public hearings on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker expansion — and a safety plan for bitumen the company already ships — have PASSED at the Union of BC Municipalities. Details to come. *RON*]
Kai Nagata, Special to Financial Post, 25 September 2014
To vote Friday on Kinder Morgan. Pipelines are federal business, goes the argument – especially if they go through your backyard. Try explaining that at a town hall meeting

With rain lashing the chairlifts and green grass stretching up the mountainside, the visitors packing Whistler’s chalet lounges this week aren’t here for the moguls. It’s the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, and that means 737 mayors and councillors are here to schmooze, scheme, and vote on a series of contentious resolutions.

Mayor Derek Corrigan strides into the confe…

Richmond rakes port over the coals

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[“I don’t understand why they’re risking tragedy or some sort of disaster event on the Fraser River for a $15-million investment for a coal facility.” “It’s unfortunate that the health concerns of the Lower Mainland were not taken into consideration.” Federal Supreme Court: “They railroaded through the project for the Fraser Surrey Docks, in spite of climate change, and so the citizens are taking them to court.” BC Supreme Court: “It’s pretty serious when the only avenue you have with Port Metro Vancouver is to take them to court, because all of the public hearings they’ve had have been a sham.” *RON*]
by Matthew Hoekstra - Richmond Review, 26 September 2014

Richmond council offered Port Metro Vancouver a rebuke this week for approving a facility that will introduce two coal barges in the Fraser River each day.

“It’s a bad idea—a dumb idea actually,” said Coun. Ken Johnston, speaking at Monday’s council meeting. “We’ve sent the message loud and c…