While one cannot say, at this point in time, what the final costs of Horgan’s Folly will be, or how painful paying for the removal of tolls will be, one can say the costs and pain of removing the Port Mann tolls will be felt long after the political popularity purchased by removing the tolls is gone.
. Having rushed in where thoughtful people would tread with caution, Premier Horgan can always fall back on tradition and bury any embarrassing problems under a thick layer of taxpayer dollars.
Calculating the dollars the removal of tolls from the Golden Ears Bridge is pretty straight forward given the difference in ownership and financing of the Golden Ears Bridge.
I am not exactly sure why an entity that is suppose to be encouraging drivers to leave their cars parked and ride public transit built a bridge that encourages drivers to avoid public transit and use their cars…….
However, I am sure TransLink will do whatever necessary to secure Santa Horgan’s Gift and belly up to the public trough to scarf down more provincial taxpayer dollars,.
Nonetheless, while removing the toll’s from TransLink’s Golden Ears Bridge is more straight forward and 80% less expensive than the Port Mann, it is an additional $60 million dollars that must be paid every year by either increasing revenue or cutting spending.
When it comes to how to pay for removing the bridge tolls, Premier Horgan has chosen to go with the successful NDP election Phantom Revenue strategy wherein Premier Horgan postulates the costs of NDP promises, programs and actions as the government, will be covered by mysteriously vague and unspecified new revenue sources.
Good governance is to develop a new source of revenue before you spend the money. Spending based on theoretical revenue leads to scrambling to cut spending when the new imaginary revenue proves to be a mirage.
If you are in a hole you need to stop digging yourself deeper into the hole before you can start to work your way out. Before you can stop digging you must recognise you are in a hole.
There has been a shift in the fundamental nature of our economy that has displaced the economy born post WWII and replaced that economy with a New Economy that has new, significantly different economic and other Realities.
To this point none of BC’s provincial political parties, business, pundits or media has shown any recognition of the fundamental shift in the nature of Canada’s economies.
We are lurching about like economic zombies and will continue to lurch about until we recognize that the nature of our economy has undergone a fundamental change; understand that the policies and behaviours that once worked to manage the economy effectively now mire Canada and Canadians deeper in the quagmire created by our failure to adjust to the shift in the fundamental nature of the economy; and align our policies and behaviours with the new economy and its realities.
The BC economy and BC’s quality of life can not afford a continuation of the disconnection between the economy the Premier and the government perceive and the economic Reality that in fact exists. A disconnection exemplified by the removal of the bridge tolls.
While the BC Liberals also failed to recognize the nature of the economy had undergone a fundamental change, they at least recognized the need to behave in a financially responsible way; to limit government spending to the government’s revenue.
The failure of media, pundits and the public to recognize the new realities we face as a result of the changes to our economy, in particular the changes in our financial reality and the need to act with financial responsibility, was highlighted during our recent election as media, pundits and the public criticised the BC Liberal’s election campaign roundly as dull and uninspiring.
Having failed to perceive the New Economy and its new realities they failed to recognize that the Liberals caution and lack of financially irresponsible promises was a result of the restraints imposed by the need for government to act with great financial responsibility.
In spite of the stories we tell ourselves, our behaviour provides abundant evidence that thinking and changing are among the behaviours that humans are most adverse to engaging in.
Unless we stop our wilful denial of a Reality we fear and deal with managing the changed nature of our Economy effectively we cannot moderate the pain, costs and consequences of our avoidance of thinking and change.
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III Santa Horgan Gifts TransLink