Our provincial government owes the Squamish First Nations big. Remember, this is the same Provincial Liberal government that put out a survey basically asking people just how much do you hate Indians. Appalling? Morally reprehensible? Damn straight. But now with the 2010 games looming ever so closer, the Province is desperately trying to ease things by giving Squamish First Nations vast tracks of traditional land. Including the Brackendale Farmers Institute (BFI) land and the land for the controversial Chekamus incinerator proposal.
I dearly hope that the incinerator is seen for the harmful idea that it is, and that the BFI remains for our great grandchildren to enjoy. However, Squamish First Nations also deserve a big pat on the back for rightfully getting their lions share while they can. Lord knows they have not only the ability, but more than enough reason to monkey wrench the Olympics™, and they’re playing that card very well. If only the District of Squamish had such a card. But no, all we have is uncertainty where the only reassurance coming from Victoria are words of Pandy Wenger “We’re not out to screw anybody”. Of course not, the Province doesn’t have to ‘go out’ to screw Squamish, it’s just a nice perk that seems to repeatedly happen.
So as the Province once again holds our head down while telling us “we weren’t out to”, we barely have time to pull our pants up and they’re back for more. This time the ‘inadvertent’ screwing might be done by TransLink.
Boy do I hope I’m wrong about this one, but after so many assaults it’s hard to remain optimistic. Even so, I can’t deny having always wanted to her the Sky Train lady say “Ding*dong*ding. The next station is… Valleycliffe”. Realistically thou, as much as I’d love to get decent transit to Whistler and Vancouver it’s hard to see this as nothing more than a tax grab.
First of all, any idiot knows our gas is cheaper than in Vancouver due to the twelve cents per liter TransLink gets, not to mention the possibility of an additional three cents. And you thought we were worried about rising property taxes before? Right now TransLink has to raise close to $70 million from increased property taxes. But who makes these decisions? Under TransLink, Vancouver and Surrey’s mayor can easily decide how much our taxes increase without us being able to say boo. This is due to the power structure in which every Mayor gets one vote for every 20,000 people in their area. Squamish has less than 16,000 people. That is not optimistic math. Especially when you factor that if the mayors fail to agree, the “professional” board will be able to impose their option.