Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Public vs. private again

Last week in the Undercurrent our mayor published an article about the money we pay to Translink, the Greater Vancouver Regional Transit Authority.  In it he argued that, despite paying a substantial amount of money to the authority, we get very little in terms of local attention and services.  Two ideas he would like to see are increased consultation with Islanders on creatively expanding our local bus service, and figuring out ways to have a better connection between Express buses and Horseshoe Bay.  Both of these are good ideas.

But this week, we see the knee jerk reaction to the idea that we might continue to contribute to a region-wide public good.  In a letter to the editor entitled How much is enough?, R. Gordon Ganong argues that we should aim to reduce our contribution to Tranlink to zero:

I urge mayor Adelaar and council to continue their work regarding TransLink payments and take whatever steps possible to reduce our gift to TransLink with the goal of reducing it to zero.
This is not a gift.  Public financing of public services is the way we live together in a society. We cannot simply reduce our contribution to zero.   I urge the mayor to continue with his solution focus, to find ways we can make our contribution matter and have a greater affect on addressing local needs.