Opinion » Maxed Out

The light goes on for paid parking

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People, please, can't we all just get along? The tenor in Tiny Town is getting tumultuous. The streets are filling with angry people. It's all taking on an air of Tehran north, without, of course, the charismatic whackos leading the whole place. If this keeps up the gutters will be running red with the blood of protesters. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. But there's every likelihood that if this keeps up someone's going to get called hurtful names... and you know how easily that can escalate to sticks and stones.

Where are the cooler heads? Where are the voices of reason? Oh sure, some of you say they've been lost in the impenetrable fog of transparent government. That they've been co-opted by our various "partners." That some of our partners are the kinds of people our parents warned us about hanging around with. "I suppose you'd jump off a bridge just because your little friend VANOC built it," I can almost hear them say, finger a-waggin'.

But just because our friends may, that's may be leading us down the road to rack and ruin, there's no reason to be, well, ugly towards the very people - outstanding gentlemen all - we so gleefully elected less than a year ago to keep us from taking that very road. I'm sure, to quote the deeply thoughtful and wise councillor Ralph, "... they have their reasons." Of course, Ralph said that about the new B.C. Transit terminal being built on the moonscape north of Nesters, the one we're on the hook for paying, what was it, most of the cost of, the one they won't tell us how much it's going to cost notwithstanding they're closer to being finished than they are to starting. Kind of reminds you of a government project, eh? What's that? It is a government project? Well, that certainly blunts the joke, doesn't it?

But hey, they're our partners. The ones who told us to put our concerns where the sun don't shine when we politely pointed out to them they'd chosen a site many of us - particularly the critters who lived there - considered an environmentally sensitive one. Let's be reasonable here; it's not like we're paying 60 per cent of the construction costs. It's not like we're going to be stuck owning the facility after it's built... or even going halvsies on it. This is how public-public partnerships work. They're doing us a favour people; let's be a little more considerate.

In fact, let's be a lot more considerate. Let's try and get all Coke commercial, teach the world to sing, pull down each other's pants and fill our bellies with pure, organic high-fructose corn syrup. No more petitions. No more whining about property tax increases, pay-to-play tax increases, pay parking tax increases, Olympic high-handedness, spending like drunken sailors - apologies sailors everywhere; have a Coke on us - or council and staff being insensitive to the tenuous fiscal hold many of us have on life during these days of plenty. "What, the poor bastards don't get automatic pay increases? Oh the humanity!"

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