What transit service will we get for our tax dollars?

Garth Gilroy encourages taxpayers to contact council if they have concerns about the proposal to join CVRD transit.

Editor:

9.7 per cent … Doesn’t sound like much, does it?

But wait … when it’s 9.7 per cent of the CVRD transit budget (currently in the area of $1,500,000) and it’s what we the ratepayers of  Ladysmith will be paying for annually, then it becomes significant.

So, what do we get for this money? Well, we can’t say for sure exactly because it hasn’t been figured out yet.

First, we have to agree to pay, then we get to find out what we get for our money … Sound like a good deal to you?

Well, it sounds like a good deal to our mayor, who coincidentally happens to be the chair of the CVRD. Conflict of interest? Not according to our mayor. He seems to think that voting on one body that he’s nominally in charge of (the Town of Ladysmith) to shift funding from that body to another body that he’s also nominally in charge of (the CVRD) presents no conflict. One might ask where his loyalties truly lie.

We have had this discussion about transit to Duncan before, and it was roundly rejected by the taxpayers of Ladysmith, so after an appropriate cooling-off period of a couple of years, council has instructed staff to proceed; after all, we can just shift the trolley funding out of town to the CVRD in order to pay for it. (Who didn’t see that coming?)

One might ask what do we get for these hundreds of thousands of dollars annually?

Well, it looks like we will get to link-up with the CVRD transit system in Chemainus, but not through Saltair, as they have wisely opted out of this foolish proposal. The way it looks is that a trip to Duncan will take two or three hours with transfers and the scenic route through Crofton and maybe Maple Bay. That’s progress for you, an entire day for a trip to Duncan and back!!

But at least there’s a strong demand isn’t there???

We don’t know, given that there is no study showing demand. No, this is a philosophical issue, another case of council solving problems that don’t exist with our precious tax dollars, somewhat like the $80,000 bike lane that sits unused, but after all, it’s the “right thing to do.”

If this issue concerns you as a taxpayer, I urge you to contact the mayor and council and voice your concerns.

Don’t let them rely on your silence.

Garth Gilroy

Ladysmith