Mayor Gregor Robertson has a case of the Gimmmees telling the feds that his city needs money to pay for his inability to handle the increased population who rely on the city infrastructure!
Granted we have aging infrastructure which is at the end of its lifecycle, fine, repair it, with the money in city and provincial coffers which we already paid for now and in the last decade or so, which should be in their reserve funding..
To piggyback new infrastructure onto existing infrastructure using the excuse we are overpopulated due to development (caused by Mayors and Council) is something even a grade preschooler can figure out. You can only fit so many marbles into a pail, before it overflows and you either use less marbles or get a bigger pail. Building a higher pail is not an answer when we live in a known earthquake zone, with our buildings sitting on top of Leda clay. When the big one does hit us, those office and Condo towers along the bay will be a sight to behold!
The tired response by many Mayors is increased population means tax savings as the tax dollars paid by newcomers and investment will be spread over a larger populace to pay for everything from better schools,transit, social programs, hospitals, yadda, yadda. Golly Gee, Really? Apparently this fallacy touted by politicians, including Mayors shows the real world doesn’t work that way, since it is clear increased population density has put the city financial coffers into dire straits.
Asking the feds to use our taxpayer dollars so you can get a bigger pail as you continue to fill it with limitless marbles makes us wonder if you truly have all your fiscal mental facilities in place. It ain’t new math, it’s common sense.
While there are many municipalities and small towns who need cash as their infrastructure is aging, many outlying regions populace cannot support their municipalities due to a limited tax base, Vancouver being a cash rich city is a different animal altogether.
Many cash strapped municipalities see their own citizens move away or commute long distances to work because of lack of housing affordability in Metro Vancouver.
Many blame housing affordability on Provincial Premiers and Mayors who are seen to prostitute themselves to cash rich overseas developers to invest and “Come on Down” and develop every square inch of our city. Is it any wonder the infrastructure cannot handle the increased development?
Citizens of Metro Vancouver and other Canadian cities witnessing multiple highrises popping up on what seems to be on every corner, require more and more underground services to handle the increased population taxing a crowded transit system, increasing traffic congestion, not to mention a taxing social services already screaming for more money, that is not forthcoming.
Mayors who faux environmental stance is farcical as citizens face daily traffic gridlock traveling behind a parade of endless heavy equipment vehicles, lumbering slowly through most routes and streets on their way to yet a new building project.
The Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, (doppelgänger of sorts on a smaller scale to Mayor Gregor Robertson) has a City of Ottawa’s infrastructure plan, which proposes light rail transit, and currently rapid project condo development in Westboro neighbourhoods, and long wistful gazes by municipal politicians and developers looking to develop Tunney’s pasture into a condo community is one clue to things to come.
Certainly the phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” is a poseur of confusion for the Mayor of the same name!
Quaint neighbourhoods of old, a major selling point at one time, a time where everybody knew one another are fast becoming a thing of the past, as concrete jungles seem to be the norm in both in Vancouver and Ottawa.
When a mayors and visionaries run amok with a pay me now attitude, screw the consequences later is it any wonder infrastructure falters? Who pays for their mistake? The taxpayer that’s who, regardless whether they live in the city or not! Environmental Sustainability, a word Vancouver politicians and others use in their everyday lexicon from buying a latte to taking a daily dump is meaningless, when practicing it never materializes.
One look at the City of Vancouver Website on environmental sustainability says it all when political baffle speak belies what citizens especially property tax paying homeowners and businesses who publicly state they were never consulted, or if they were consulted their concerns were thrown by the wayside by the Mayor and his political minions.
A Mayor whose pie in the sky flights of fancy from building social housing in the downtown core for anyone who wants to live downtown instead of outlying regions does nothing to increase the property tax base needed to pay for infrastructure or reduce the need for infrastructure environmentally speaking in our reduce, reuse and recycle society.
It is clear the voting majority in the city were easy votes for the Mayor who promised the moon in a Hey Vote for me, cause when it comes to clueless environmentalists, you’re number 1.
It always seems mayors make hasty decisions without looking at the big picture, they look to penalize others heavily for their own mistakes, everything from increasing gas taxes, proposing to put tolls on major bridges to the city, to throwing up concrete barriers for bike lanes (versus painted lines so as to allow emergency vehicle access), etc in order to force those to rethink alternative green modes of transportation, knowing full well the majority have no recourse but to use their vehicles to get from point A to B.
Mayors who show contempt against those whose only choice is driving their vehicles to work, because of their geographic location, or necessity as part of their occupation seems par for the course when needing a scapegoat when looking to squeeze every last cent out of the taxpayer.
For those Mayors who build and build with nary a thought on who is to pay for all of the above, shows not only fiscal incompetence, but goes against every environmental policy they suckered their voters into believing what they stood for at election time.
Currently, the Mayor and his troupe of clueless minions are looking at reducing the width of streets in order to build more infill housing, increasing traffic gridlock and regardless that if a fire reared its ugly head, good luck in fire trucks trying to get to the scene as most of these side streets are narrow enough as it is as cars are parked on one side or either side of these streets. Back laneways built in the 1930s are one lane wide and thus are useless for parking by homeowners.
Mayors need to look to the developers and new citizens in these exorbitantly priced housing units to foot the bill for increased infrastructure, after all the Mayors invited them to live or invest here.
So called Environmentally conscious Mayors who publicly state they are Green need to brought to task in the media and in a public forum for what they really are, they are clueless and incompetent when it comes to anything remotely environmental, let alone any understanding of a current non Metro Vancouver regional economic development strategy which conflicts with environmental or sustainability issues.
A maxed our population, squeezes resources further, like infrastructure, resources we depend on are getting scarcer and scarcer, long wait times for hospitals, housing affordability, overcrowded schools and transit, increased traffic, and nonexistent personal physicians available to the public, including using arable farmland land scarce as it is to sell to developers for more and more housing in a never ending quest for development.
This isn’t news to those of us who have lived here for decades, these are long standing issues over the last two decades, all these concerns were ignored and now politicians are now being given a wakeup call? Come on, these issues have been brought to politicians and every previous mayor since, as they slam the snooze button and continue to increase development and our population exponentially.
Any Mayor worth his salt needs to man up, put on his big boy pants, instead of whining to the Feds and Canadian taxpayer to pay for their ineptness in limitless infrastructure funding due to population growth, while still insisting to the public they are the stewards of the environment.
Mayors who continue to build and build in their cities, ignoring the obvious will be in an never ending cycle of catch up (using up every limited natural resource available) when it comes to maintaining current and future insatiable infrastructure needs. Needs matched only by the ability of the Canadian taxpayer for foot the bill.
Funny how many Environmentalists, especially Vangroovians say NO to the oil sands and other natural resource depleting industries, such as hydro-electric power, natural gas which every city infrastructure relies on to function, are mute when it comes to the development industry and depleting resources needed for increased infrastructure in their own city.
Hypocritical when you come to think of it, when we willingly sell our limited resources in our province overseas, yet tell other provinces they cannot do it. So, so, typical of Vancouver and other cities.
If one were truly environmentally conscious and put their environmentalism where their soy latte goes, it would be time to demand that Vancouver and other Canadian cities whose population max out infrastructure needs to curtail development if these cities can’t afford to put the infrastructure in place first or replenish in order to sustain our natural resources.
Would you scream to the government or municipality to pay for your house addition or buy you a home because you want more children? Children, by the way all politician’s state are an investment in our sustainable future! Apparently not, when we are told to live within our financial means, the same needs to be said of our politicians, whether they be mayors or other political leaders. After all, what is mandated to us, better damn well be good for them!
A return on investment for a city is meant to benefit everyone who lives there, not just the few who wish to see their own grandiose personal and political legacy paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.
Environmentally speaking, I see no benefit for any of us, if green was our objective.
My past article a must read for those concerned about the environment titled.
BC 1990-2035 The futures so bright I gotta wear shades