Victoria regional transit body tiring of ‘cap-in-hand’ funding requests

Transit commission seeks more direct line of cash

  • Jun. 2, 2011 5:00 p.m.

The province has said it has money to pay for its share of a proposed billion-dollar light-rail transit system for Greater Victoria.

But if it doesn’t change how Greater Victoria’s transit system is funded, there are only two ways of paying for the local share of the LRT: increased property taxes and fares.

That prompted members of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission to appeal for more funding flexibility – which could bring in millions of extra dollars a year – to B.C. Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom during a meeting Tuesday.

“It’s a much clearer picture that the province was … willing to step forward with their one-third funding, and support us in requesting another third from the federal government,” said Victoria Coun. John Luton, a commission member.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin asked Lekstrom for an additional 3.5 cents per litre, paid at local pumps, to go directly into a capital infrastructure reserve fund, which currently doesn’t exist, to help pay for expensive projects, such as the LRT.

The commission currently gets 3.5 cents per litre in gas tax funding.

“We don’t have any savings,” Fortin said. “Ultimately, if you know that a big expense is coming, you need to start saving for it.”

That is how TransLink is partly funded in Vancouver.

“We want more flexibility built into it so we don’t have to go cap-in-hand to the province every time,” said commission chair and Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton.

Despite the commission’s financial needs, taxpayers could pay the price for funding requests.

“Is the province considering taxes in the region for their share or fund their share from existing provincial sources?” Saanich Mayor and commission member Frank Leonard said of the questions that still need to be answered.

“I think we have to be watchful of the taxpayers’ interests when these things are being talked about in a general way.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read