Monday, February 23, 2015

Translink Referendum, No, Translink Laugherendum

Written by Grant G

The yes side on the Translink referendum have swiftly turned into both a mocking and desperate entity, endless rhetoric, talking to us as if we are mindless children, added in is fear mongering about congestion and traffic tie ups that will destroy greater Vancouver as we know it, a little dramatic? Perhaps.

The Vancouver Sun, as expected have come out blazing in favour of taxing us lowermainland schmucks, Daphne Bramham has a silly article claiming the only way the yes side wins is if Translink comes out and apologizes for their amateur and wasteful performances of the past...

An apology, really, is that what it takes to make amends...did we get an apology from the BC Liberals for lying in the 2001 election about not selling BC Rail, then Gordon Campbell did a 180 degree turn and sold it anyway, did we hear a sorry for dragging the province through an HST experiment, how about a I`m sorry for lying about a $4 billion dollar deficit in election year 2009...Gordon Campbell lied his face off during that election and claimed the deficit would be a mere $500 million, "$500 million deficit and not a penny more", three months later we find out the true 2009 debt was $4 billion dollars and an HST tax got shoved down our throat.

During that historic HST referendum fight, the battle between the no side and the yes faction, the same old boys club is is on board with the YES...Tax the rubes, who cares, we have hidden agendas.

The same players who promoted the HST as the greatest ever new tax since sliced bread was invented are all lining up on the yes side.

I can`t believe how childish the yes vote side has become, so early in the game, these corporate columnists make me sick, out the door goes arguing known facts, data points and real life examples with Translink`s performances,  instead airy fairy rhetoric dominates our domestic newspaper headlines..

Translink, a failed entity, an entity that despite claims of independence is wholly owned and controlled by the BC Liberal Government, Translink`s errors were BC Liberal Government decisions...

The Faregate boondoggle was Ken Dobell`s lobby horse, Gordon Campbell`s good-time office buddy...Faregates are useless, the gates need to be monitored by human eyes, $220 million dollars for glorified turnstiles that don`t keep fare cheats in or out..Flushhhhhhhhh!

Compass card system, a failed experiment that won`t work with a multi zone fare system, one zone tickets, two zone tickets and three zones tickets, until the zone system is cancelled Compass Cards won`t work...$230 million dollars for a compass card system, and still it doesn`t work...Compass Card system was another BC Liberal decision, not Translink..Flushhhhhhhh!

All the Translink breakdowns last year....Translink brought in(for a hefty price) an outside party to examine why Translink was breaking down..

What was the outcome of the outside report....Translink needs $71 million dollars for intercoms, flashing neon lights at the stations to communicate with stranded riders and new Train software to keep the tracks open...

That outside report on Translink`s failures was in itself another scam.... For if one remembers when that report was released(Novenber 18th/2014), the recommendations contained within...Translink already had the money amounts needed to make the necessary repairs, Translink had a money total for new intercoms, neon lights and software replacements...How was it that the same day that report was released Traslink already had the dollar amounts needed for repair...That means requests for proposals and bids were already issued by Translink to outside contractors, requests sent out and bids returned to Translink, all that was available the very day that outside report was released..

That tells me that it wasn`t an outside report, it was an inside deal hatched by Translink, pretend to get advice from an outside entity when during the creation of the report requests for proposals(RFP`s) were already flying out to Translink`s overpriced contractors..

The very same day this so-called independent report was released to the public Translink already had a $71 million dollar cost estimate to fix the problems, the only way Translink could know what these repairs would cost would be if requests for proposals were issued, time given to the contractors to respond, estimate and remit their bids...

The independent review was a farce, it was a smokescreen scam, just give Translink an extra $71 million for repairs and all is good..

How is that professionalism, shouldn`t the independent report been released first to the public and Translink, THEN requests for proposals sent out, with estimates coming back months later...It didn`t happen that way, from the very onset of that independent report Translink was busy sending out RFP`s  for the repairs and fixes....They sent them out, contractors and companies had months to craft an estimate.

 Translink had a $71 million dollar price tag on the very same day the independent report was released...In other words Translink already knew what repairs and improvements were required...The outside independent report(scam) was merely to provide Translink cover..

November 18th/2014 the so-called independent report was released, on November 18th/2014 Translink already had all the estimates at the ready, proof Translink was playing all of us for fools, those estimates would have taken several months to finalize, meaning requests for proposals were issued in July 2014...The very same time the independent report was called for..

The Vancouver Sun wasn`t finished with their childish rants, bring in moronic Stephen Hume...He lashes out against The Canadian Taxpayer`s Federation, the lead spokes-group for the Translink referendum No Vote..

Absolutely pathetic, it doesn`t matter who is fighting for justice, who is presenting facts, who is ringing the alarm bells, should we just rollover and play dead, accept everything Translink says as gospel, ....Stephen Hume, you pathetic boob, why don`t you write a column demanding the referendum vote be cancelled and have the real authority, the BC Liberal Government actually govern and just bring in the tax....If Stephen Hume doesn`t want anyone to fight the increase to the sales tax than he must be in total favour of rejecting the referendum and placing the responsibility of transit funding back on Christy Clark`s plate...If no one is to fight for the no vote why are we wasting $millions of dollars on a ballot vote and Translink agreeing to spend its $4 million dollar advertising budget promoting the yes vote...

Absolute garbage from the enemies of British Columbia, the beholden to oil companies and corporations, also known as the Vancouver Sun....These two articles makes me think they should change their name to the Vancouver Stunned...We are not Children Stephen Hume, Daphne Bramham.

The claim of 1 million people moving here over the next 20 years, if that is so there will be a 1 million person larger tax base, 1 million more people buying gas, paying property taxes, 1 million more people paying parking taxes, BC Hydro transit levies, if it is true that all these people are coming to overpriced greater Vancouver than Translink`s tax base will rise exponentially with each new immigrant to the GVRD...

The NO VOTE SIDE....They are the only participants in this battle telling the truth...

Is the YES SIDE telling voters that no matter how much of this new money goes into replacing the Puttella bridge once built it will be a toll bridge, costing regular bridge users $2000 dollars per year...The yes vote is deafening silent on that fact...

Is the YES Vote side telling voters that more funding will be required, that plans are already being made for congestion charges, road pricing, X $dollars per miles traveled on roads....Is the yes vote telling you that a car levy is also on the table...Are they telling you that the mayors in a few short years will be pressed by the BC Government to raise property taxes even more, with that funding going to Translink...Plus there is no guarantee this sales tax won`t be increased even further...

All this pain the make things pleasant for the million people coming here....

Gregor Robertson`s subway to UBC is a near $4 billion dollar project all by itself....The Puttella bridge replacement is a $2 billion dollar project and Surrey`s light rail plan(which Translink already objects too, Bombardier and Translink`s usual suspect builders won`t accept a cheaper system) is $2 billion dollars..

$8 billion dollars for those projects, not counting the monies for operations and maintenance...

Here`s a newsflash....Cancel Site C dam, $15 billion dollars for a dam and power we don`t need would fund those projects twice over...There is no referendum on Site C...There is no referendum on the $3 billion dollar Massey bridge proposal...

$8 billion dollars for three Translink proposals...This sales tax increase will only raise, in 10 years....A mere $2.5 billion dollars...Translink also needs money for more buses and the like...South of the Fraser will still be under-served....

The BC Government will never make it easy to cross these expensive bridges, Port Mann bridge..Golden Ears bridge..Puttella bridge because those bridges need massive car traffic to pay for themselves...

Port Mann bridge and the Golden Ears bridge are under performing, both bridges are way under under crossing projections..


Port Mann tolls start to steer drivers to free crossings

 Commuters reported longer delays reaching the Pattullo and Alex Fraser bridges, while traffic was lighter on the Port Mann compared to last week when it was free.


The public are already running away from toll bridges, in 20 years no one will be able to afford to travel to Vancouver, business will migrate east with the population, Vancouver can be left to all the multi-millionaire immigrants..

The Golden ears bridge, ....When that bridge was built, the estimated cost was $800 million dollars, final cost $1.3 billion dollars, the builders of the bridge were supposed to be the toll collector, the bridge cost was to be recouped by the builder, at the 11th hour of the build the bridge builder got cold feet, all of a sudden the Golden ears bridge tolls and cost recovery was handed over by the BC Liberal Government to Translink...Now Translink bleeds money every year on that bridge, subsidizing the bridge builder..


"Even with the recent uptick, the Golden Ears is still falling far short of its original traffic forecasts, leaving TransLink to absorb a roughly $35 million annual shortfall between the tolls that come in and the payments it must make to the bridge builder.
That's a subsidy of roughly half the bridge's annual payments that aren't covered by tolls.
The original traffic forecasts and revenue targets drawn up in 2004 – before the 2008-09 recession – have been discarded as irrelevant and gains of about 1.5 to three per cent per year are now expected, Zein said.

The average number of daily crossings was 30,100 as of December.

Zein said TransLink will pay off the bridge as scheduled over 32 years, but subsidies are expected to continue."


This sad case of mismanagement was reported near exclusively by The Straight Goods years before the MSM...


The BC Government gave Translink the 80 year old Puttella bridge, the reason, to download the replacement costs upon the transit company, the bridge has nothing to do with transit, the Puttella bridge should be part of the ministry of transportation..

How on earth was Translink given an 80 year old bridge, this downloading of costs was well planned many years ago...

This sales tax increase will raise $2.5 billion over 10 years, when over $10 billion is required, where is the rest of the money, until both the federal government, provincial government ink documents guaranteeing the remaining funds for transit than the only way one must vote is no...Hell no..

Are we going to have a referendum on a car levy....a referendum on road pricing, on increased property taxes...Should those who live south of the Fraser have to carry the burden of $thousands in tolls each year along with all the other Translink taxes while the north shore is bridge-toll free, sea to sky highway toll free...While Vancouver has more transit that everyone else combined and still they want a $4 billion dollar subway to help temporary students get to UBC....Students can suffer, or drive a car..

I have heard no stories of students failing to get to class..

This referendum is about contractors, bridge builders and developers drooling for money making opportunities..

Even Yes Side Vote leader Bill Tieleman is in on the gravy train, he is lobbying for Translink contracts after the referendum has finished, along with hundreds of other government insiders, all lobbying to get Translink dollars, where is that money to come from Bill Tieleman?....


"Finally, there is a very long list of more than 50 companies that responded to TransLink’s invitation to pre-qualify for “Professional Planning Research and Policy Services” under RFP Q14-155.
Who might some of those companies be that are in line, hoping to score a TransLink contract?

Bill "Yes to TransLink expansion" Tieleman
Tieleman: touting TransLink
You’ll recognize Aecom, CH2M Hill, Parsons, Stantec and SDG, who are seeking the Surrey and/or Broadway technical services contracts (see above). Interfleet Technology is on the list. The U.K-based consultancy is a division of SNC-Lavalin.
Also seeking TransLink gigs under the same tender notice are Counterpoint Communications, Kirk and Co., Stratcom and West Star Communications Corp.
Kirk and Co. is a BC Liberal-allied firm that already has a TransLink gig which was extended without bid. A Nov. 25, 2014 notice of intent re-upped its “Public Affairs and Engagement Consultant” contract. Mike McDonald, the BC Liberal campaign manager when Premier Christy Clark promised a TransLink funding referendum, is part of Kirk. See above for more about Counterpoint. Stratcom is the polling, research and robocall arm of Vision Vancouver.
West Star is a surprising entry on the list. It is the firm run by Bill Tieleman, perhaps the most-prominent public face of the Yes campaign,.....

 Bill(Tieleman---Grant G) was unavailable for comment much of Jan. 8, but I look forward to updating this post when he responds."


Just look at all the players lining up for a piece of that $250 million per year, Translink will need that money just for paying all these inside players...

Translink doesn`t need any advertising companies on their payrole...Translink needs to move people, not replace dilapidated old bridges..

The no vote is at least honest about Translink`s money woes, .....The Yes Vote is lying, omitting and looking at a black debt hole through rose coloured glasses.

If, WHEN the Translink funding referendum fails finding new monies will be punted back to the BC Government, $dollars will be found, priorities selected and life will go on....We can start by cancelling the not needed Site C dam and the Massey tunnel replacement, after all, the Massey tunnel replacement was only to facilitate larger ocean going tankers to head farther up the Fraser river to gather up coal and exports, coal growth is over, the need isn`t there...Site C dam and Massey bridge cancellations,  There ya go, I just saved the BC Government(the taxpayer) $18 billion dollars.

Translink referendum....I vote hell no, cancel the referendum, place the responsibility and taxing decision making back in the hands of the real authority..

The Christy Clark led BC Liberal Government.

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Hugh said...

Gotta Grow,Grow,Grow!
At some point you can't actually move.

It's about being trapped in the "endless growth" paradigm.

To maintain the financial/banking system there needs to be endless growth. Sort of like a Ponzi.

Jon Ghun said...

Translink is a giant multi-tiered scandal.

The referendum is a political ruse to distract the population from what's wrong and who's responsible.

The corruption involving SNC Lavalin alone is enough to bring the whole government down.

But the only guy with the stones to say anything is an independent blogger who still believes in doing what's right.

Where the hell is the official opposition on this file? No doubt the big bunch of controlled cowards are quietly doing something else (as is always the case when something important is taking place).

The rot is getting to be unsustainable. This stealing from the rubes has become their only concern. We're trapped in an abusive relationship and the cops are turning a blind eye because they're in on it too. These fascists are going to keep oppressing us until our blood is running in the streets.

We need to stand up and stop them now.

To begin with, vote "No" on this referendum.

Then we're going to have to occupy the mainstream media and break them up.

Next the cosy two-party paradigm needs to be re-forged into a coalition of principled independents.

Then we have to do a forensic audit of Translink and BC Hydro.

We also have to abrogate the IPP contracts and convene a criminal inquest into the sale of BC Hydro.

Or else, we the place is going to collapse in a stinking heap of debt and despair for all but the most sinister.

Grant G said...

Where is the opposition...Gone.

John Horgan bowed to the companies vying for Translink dole.

A complete flip-flop on Translink and the referendun from their 2013 election stance by John Horgan..Horgan`s secret adviser Bill Tieleman is in total conflict.

Yup, John Horgan turned out to be a corporate wolf in sheep`s clothing.

His friends, it turns out that Horgan`s friends are lined up at the trough.

BC NDP is finished for at least another election cycle.

Forget 2017...maybe 2021 if we can find a real leader who hasn`t been bought off, not controlled by money grubbing insiders.


Anonymous said...

Horgan same as Dix?

dont forget Bombardier Korea claim.

BCL epic LNG fail?

Anonymous said...

top picture caption?
All drinking from the same kool aid?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

make site c from BC logs

istvan said...

They now have the CBC on side it seams...Balance budget in Canada...? WTF ?

Hugh said...

"No wonder: the successive losses mean a corresponding escalation in the corporation’s cumulative operating deficit. It is projected to just about double from the current $312 million to $621 million three years from now.

Mounting losses on operations offer no prospect of relief from the capital debt that was taken on to pay for construction of the new 10-lane Port Mann and widening of 37 kilometres of adjacent Highway 1.

The service plan has the capital debt topping out at about $3.7 billion three years hence, with no end in sight."

Doomed neo-liberal strategy: Endless growth + endless debt.

Grant G said...

You bet Hugh..And gu7ess what...What do think will happen when and if they make great Transit bus service over both Port Mann and the golden ears bridge..

Tolling revenue collapses even further, meaning all the new transit money will go to service under performing bridge tolls....BC Liberals messed up big time..

Hugh said...

Willie Nelson is great. Looks like he needs a new guitar. His middle name is Hugh.

Anonymous said...

John's Aghast said...

You guys make me sick. All that blather about the corrupt Lieberals. And the absence of any opposition party. The spin doctors revel in it! "Just shows you what an excellent job we're doing! " As long as they get their $200,000 pay check and indexed pension, what do they care about your caterwauling ?
The more we complain to our little "inside group" - you know, the two to three dozen commentators that make sense, the more blatant they get. There are still four million people in BC that DON'T get it! And that's their target.
I don't have the answer, because you can't all move to Australia, and to be honest, it isn't all roses & sunshine down here. But I don't think they have a corporate owned press, and sometimes their politicians are held to account.
Grant, you're doing an amazing job, but you and Norm can't do it alone. But thanks for trying.
I'm torn between returning and relocating my grandchildren down here.

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