– Tolls an unfair tax on suburbs

The Province

Editorial

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and other local luminaries seem to be embracing the idea of tolling roads in our region, such as the Sea-to-Sky Highway, as a means of raising money for public transit.

But we should all resist such a tempting cash grab, which unfairly taxes people for living in the suburbs.

As Transportation Minister Shirley Bond points out, the B.C. government’s policy is to use road tolls only when a “reasonable, non-tolled alternative” route is unavailable. It’s a wise policy.

You could, of course, argue that the new Port Mann bridge is to be tolled, without a reasonable alternative. But at least the Pattullo Bridge offers some relief.

There is no real alternative for those driving to and from Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

It’s easy, of course, for City of Vancouver residents such as Robertson to argue for road tolls. They’re fortunate to have reasonably good public transit, including the new Canada Line.

Folks in the ‘burbs are not so blessed. They don’t have any real alternative to the motor car. And they deserve better than to have their pockets constantly picked by opportunistic politicians.

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