Surrey spent $240K on ‘Yes’

SURREY – The City of Surrey spent $240,500 advocating for a "Yes" vote in the transportation plebiscite.

 

Council had approved a budget of up to $300,000.

 

The plebiscite asked voters if they approved of a 0.5 per cent regional sales tax to fund $7.5 billion in improvements.

 

The city’s dollars went to a variety of communication initiatives, including social media strategies as well as bus shelter, print and web-based advertising.

 

Money was also spent on consultants, facility and tent rentals and signage.

 

One staff member was sent to the Regional Mayor’s Secretariat for a period of time to assist with the co-ordination of both campaigns.

 

Comparably, Vancouver spent $350,000 and New Westminster budgeted $20,000.

 

Delta, on the other hand, spent nothing, according to Mayor Lois Jackson. In fact, she said the municipality didn’t even promote one side of the vote.

 

"When we sent out notices for our water and sewer and utility bills, as I always do I put a little note in there to people explaining things," said Jackson.

 

"We did advise people to take the time to understand what this was all about and make their decision and their choice."

 

Over and above what individual municipalities spent, the Metro Vancouver mayor’s spent $5.8 million of taxpayers’ money promoting a "Yes" vote, according to figures released last week.

 

Fierce campaigns have been unleashed on both sides of the argument.

 

The "Yes" side has said the projects are crucial to the region’s future. Without them, roads will be jam packed, costing billions of dollars in congestion, they say.

 

Mayor Linda Hepner has pointed out that 40 per cent of the spending in the vision is dedicated to Surrey projects, one of which is an LRT line. She promised residents in her election campaign that she would have operational light right in Surrey by 2018.

 

"We’ve got another million people we expect over the next two decades who need to be accommodated and it’s just unconscionable… to do nothing," she said.

 

Meanwhile, the "No" side spent just under $40,000. Those on that side of the argument say the government should be able to fund the projects within the envelope they have and that TransLink shouldn’t be trusted.

 

Leading the No TransLink Tax campaign is Jordan Bateman, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

 

He said the mayors’ admission they spent nearly $6 million is just the beginning.

 

"This spending doesn’t include what we estimate to be at least another million bucks spent by the city halls in favour of the tax, the time dedicated by dozens of TransLink and municipal staff working for the ‘Yes’ side, or the money raised by the Better Transit Transportation Coalition," he said.

 

"Knowing the TransLink Mayors spent these millions of dollars to buy this vote just makes us all the more proud of our scrappy, little No TransLink Tax campaign," he added.

 

Nearly 700,000 ballots were submitted representing roughly 44.7 per cent of the 1.56 million registers voters in the region.

 

Results of the vote are expected in late June or early July.

Just Posted

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read