Between March 16 and May 29, 2015 the provincial government of British Columbia is holding a referendum to determine a revenue source for transportation expansions in Vancouver. The plan includes more buses, shuttle service for people living with disabilities, two light rail lines, and an extension of the light metro SkyTrain system halfway to the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. If you think you are eligible to vote in Vancouver and have not received the ballot, click here to ensure that you are registered.
Voting “no” in the referendum rejects the transit expansions and the funding mechanism. No alternative to the sales tax has been proposed to fund these expansions, if “no” is voted in.
Voting “yes’ in the referendum means PST will be increased by 0.5 per cent in the region, to 7.5 per cent. Over ten years, the sales tax will collect $2.5 billion of the estimated $7.5 billion cost of the proposal. The difference will, it is hoped, be footed by the province and the federal government.
The projects that will be financed by this sum will also be approved or denied by the vote, and have been decided by the Mayors’ Council, a 23-member body made up of the mayors of each municipality in the metro region. Read more about the plebiscite here.
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