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Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Here are a few quick, initial thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum, where new transit funding paid for by a regional sales tax was rejected roughly 60% to 40%. You might want to read on even if you’re not from Vancouver: after all, it isn’t the only property-value-driven urban “utopia” where public services, public spaces and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Here are a few quick, initial thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum, where new transit funding paid for by a regional sales tax was rejected roughly 60% to 40%. You might want to read on even if you’re not from Vancouver: after all, it isn’t the only property-value-driven urban “utopia” where public services, public spaces and . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Quick thoughts on Vancouver’s transit referendum “No”

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The moderating effect of moderation

RossK writes about the Pro-Media Club and its implicit rulebook, which includes a requirement that no one reprove a colleague, even if overstatements and misrepresentations morph into purposeful lies. The blog world doesn’t follow those guidelines so we can point at any load of old codswallop encountered. In coverage of the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The moderating effect of moderation

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Transit referendum and Pandora’s box

When financial numbers involve billions, many of us struggle to gain understanding and perspective. Usually, the beneficiaries of large scale spending are the worst sources of information. Here’s an example.

A “fact-check” statement from the paid-for-by-taxpayers Mayors council website says: A “Yes” to Transit vote would cost average households $125 a year.

Readers are . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Transit referendum and Pandora’s box

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Sales tax war resumed

The good doctor at The Gazetteer diagnoses a similarity between issues underlying the now debated transit sales tax and the late and unlamented HST. RossK is focused on the tax ‘shiftyness’ involved in both.

Quite right. BC Liberals have slowly shifted away from progressive taxation, preferring revenues from fees and taxes that have greater impact . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Sales tax war resumed

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: With Ian Jessop, CFAX1070, Mar 3

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. . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: With Ian Jessop, CFAX1070, Mar 3

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Spending billions without evidence?

[View the story “New Story” on Storify]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Who is being served by TransLink?

[View the story “Circles of Spin” on Storify]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Political football – winners and losers

Senior governments download responsibility for delivering services but seldom include taxing authorities adequate to match spending demands. The download trend is demonstrated in a report by The Columbia Institute:

British Columbia’s government prefers to raise revenues from individuals through consumption taxes and user fees rather than by progressive income taxes, natural resource proceeds and levies . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Political football – winners and losers

Song of the Watermelon: The Case for ‘Yes’ in Metro Vancouver’s Transit Referendum

Well, anybody could have called this one.

According to a new survey by Insights West, 53 per cent of residents plan to vote No in the upcoming 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. Only 38 per cent say they will vote Yes to the proposed half-percentage-point sales tax increase to help fund more buses, . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: The Case for ‘Yes’ in Metro Vancouver’s Transit Referendum

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Frugality, thy name is not TransLink

Opinion researchers Insights West concluded in 2013 that an increase in sales tax was the least favoured funding option for TransLink. Nevertheless, that’s the option preferred by most municipal politicians and the province. They might theorize that a number of small drains in our pockets will be less noticed. Also, they see the 0.5% transit . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Frugality, thy name is not TransLink

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Poking through transit costs

[View the story “Some TransLink numbers” on Storify]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: A camel is a horse…

Voters in Metro Vancouver are asked to approve a regional increase in provincial sales tax to generate an estimated $250 million a year for TransLink. The vote is an advisory one, not binding on the province but it fits the Liberal preference for regressive taxation so the province won’t be an obstacle.

In December, politicians . . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: A camel is a horse…

Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?

Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Why we should give even more money to Translink

Your browser does not support this audioYes, if you are bothered by waste and lack of accountability, Bill Tieleman explained on CKNW that there is an easy solution: ignore it.

. . . → Read More: Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Why we should give even more money to Translink

Melissa Fong: Dear Translink… Rob did a good job

I know we don’t agree often. We have a love/hate relationship dependent on my mood and whether or not it’s cold and rainy outside. To be fair, you are consistently late and often leave me standing out in the rain.

You have just been voted 3rd best public transit in Canada, which is not . . . → Read More: Melissa Fong: Dear Translink… Rob did a good job

Melissa Fong: Harassment on Translink

One of the ways that many countries offer against harassment are female only cars on transit. While this option has proven to make women feel safer, there are a few barriers such as transgendered people’s access to these cars and the fact that not all harassment on transit is male directed to females (although a . . . → Read More: Melissa Fong: Harassment on Translink

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

A letter of mine in the Vancouver Sun today, this one about the “Disappearing Palestine” ads on public transit here in the city. I try to defend the ads against the absurd charge that they target Jews. Click here to read it.

Filed under: Ethnicity, Letters to the Editor, Middle East Tagged: Israel, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to TransLink Regarding the “Disappearing Palestine” Ads

Dear TransLink:

I am writing to express my wholehearted support for your decision to display the pro-Palestinian transit ads recently unveiled at the Vancouver City Centre Skytrain station and on several buses. The ads offer an important perspective that needs to be heard as part of any informed debate on the Middle East conflict.

My . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to TransLink Regarding the “Disappearing Palestine” Ads

Politics, Re-Spun: #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway

Who Framed Roger Rabbit reminded us all of the Great American Streetcar Scandal: cars over mass transit. Now, in the lower mainland we have the UBC tunnel over light rail to the valley.

This week, we start with a transportation spin alert.

Last week, Allen Garr wrote an interesting piece about the seemingly . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: #SpinAlert: Light Rail for the Valley Instead of a UBC Subway

Song of the Watermelon: Carrots and Sticks: How to Fund Public Transit

If we as a planet are going to avoid passing over the two-degree threshold of runaway climate change, we are going to have to start rationing greenhouse gas emissions. Efficiency gains in transportation will inevitably need to be part of that project. Put another way, emissions per person per kilometre will have to diminish, which . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Carrots and Sticks: How to Fund Public Transit

Politics, Re-Spun: Translink: It’s the policy, that policy won’t change, and there’s no one you can speak to about it.

Pardon me for a rant about my commute. And about Translink. I hardly think it’s acceptable for a public organization that trumpets public consultation, taxes us, is governed by an unelected appointed board, and so on, to say “it’s the policy, that policy won’t change, and there’s no one you can speak to.” I’m currently […] . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Translink: It’s the policy, that policy won’t change, and there’s no one you can speak to about it.

Art Threat: Whistle while you wait

Skattered throughout Vancouver, bus stop shelters have been turned from ad space to sheet music. Adorno and Nose, as the piece is called, is a collection of ten songs composed and illustrated by Barry Doupe and James Whitman. Each poster contains a different song, notated as standard sheet music, the verse, and a drawn graphic. […] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Whistle while you wait

eaves.ca: The Economics of Open Data – Mini-Case, Transit Data & Translink

Translink, the company that runs public transit in the region where I live (Vancouver/Lower Mainland) is getting ready to launch a real time bus tracking app that will use GPS data to figure out how far away the next the bus you are waiting for really is. This is great news for everyone. Of course […] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: The Economics of Open Data – Mini-Case, Transit Data & Translink

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Rap on Rapid Transit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Anyone interested in rapid transit in Vancouver has until this Friday, April 22nd to tell Translink what they think about the propos… . . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Rap on Rapid Transit