VICTORIA — Despite throwing up roadblocks to transit development in B.C. since becoming premier, Christy Clark is trying to get headlines from the Paris climate change conference by falsely portraying herself as a leader on transit.
“British Columbians would have to be blind to her record to believe that she has ever made transit a priority”, said New Democrat transit spokesperson George Heyman. “At every turn, Premier Clark has delayed and obstructed progress on public transit.”
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this week, the premier is pretending transit is a priority of her government, saying “transit will be a really big way to reduce emissions as well. Most of the emissions come from those areas, not from industrial emitters.”
Heyman cited the fact that Premier Clark forced lower mainland communities into a failed referendum rather than work with them to give TransLink the revenue tools it needs. TransLink and area mayors had also asked for a share of the carbon tax to invest in transit, but the Christy Clark government will only spend carbon tax revenue on tax cuts, not climate solutions. Since signing an agreement to work with the region’s mayors in 2010 her government has said no to every one of the mayors’ funding proposals to add transit capacity.
Premier Clark also requires that cash-strapped municipalities fund one-third of the cost of major transit infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, she has been voluntarily paying the full cost of highway infrastructure for single occupancy vehicles. “That really shows where their priorities are,” commented Heyman.