Council to hear both sides on TransLink tax issue

The invitations will be going out – TransLink supporters and the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation – to give their sales pitches on the 0.5 per cent sales tax increase.

The province has invited the Mayors Council of Metro Vancouver to suggest options for transit funding sources. The public will vote on the proposed tax increase this spring.

Township councillors decided they wanted to hear from both sides.

They will invite the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, which has come out in favour of the PST funding source, and the CTF. 

Council is hoping the two parties can attend the same meeting.

The whole issue came up as a notice of motion by Councillor Angie Quaale who said the federation can suggest what other options it would suggest instead of the 0.5 per cent.

Council was split over the issues.

“This is obviously very controversial and will occupy a lot of time in the next two months,” said Coun. Charlie Fox, who said the yes side should also be invited.

Fox said maybe by the time this can be arranged, the province will have decided what items will be impacted by the 0.5 per cent. 

Coun. Kim Richter said council didn’t need to hear from the yes side again.

“We already heard from them ad nauseum this past summer,” she said.

Coun. Bob Long said the Township should be providing a forum for special interest groups and shouldn’t be attempting to sway any residents.

“Why would we be wading into this,” he said. “This is a personal decision that ever voter is going to have to take.”

Quaale said she’s receiving questions from residents and believes it’s incumbent on her to become educated about the issues to be able to talk to residents.

People are finding the mattr “complicated and divisive,” said Coun. Petrina Arnason.

She said that while it’s not the Township responsibility, it would be helpful to the public to have a townhall style event with both sides.

Staff will try to make arrangement for yes and no representatives to come to Langley.

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