Urban growth a challenge

Given Vancouver's unchecked population growth, surely the proposed 0.5-per-cent transit tax would be permanent.

Re: “What would happen to the transit tax after 10 years?,” The Leader, March 31.

Given Vancouver’s unchecked population growth, surely reporter Jeff Nagel is  right when he surmises that the proposed 0.5-per-cent transit tax would be permanent.

Therefore, instead of rushing to a “yes” or “no” vote, there are better ways to deal  with Metro Vancouver’s traffic congestion, by first asking the more fundamental question: Are a million more people needed or wanted in the Metro Vancouver area?

Given the current referendum on transit funding improvements, a Leger Marketing poll, originally conducted in 2011 in Metro Vancouver, found that 93 per cent of  people surveyed thought the region’s population was either large enough or too large.

Whether or not “Vancouver is full” remains to be seen. However, we should give careful thought to the inherent fallacy of using an influx of a million more newcomers expected by 2040 as a valid argument for needed transit upgrades.

Inasmuch as such massive population growth is expected to come almost entirely from current high levels of federally controlled immigration intakes, it is time to move the debate on sustainable immigration policies away from predominantly quantitative arguments to its qualitative urban implications of economic, environmental, social, cultural and overall demographic concerns.

In reality, the real costs of urban traffic congestion arise from a self-inflicted pattern of runaway urban growth, falling victim to a self-defeating vicious cycle of economically unsustainable infrastructure demands.


E.W. Bopp, Tsawwassen

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