Just when the provincial government appears to be listening to our Metro mayors on the topic of financing expensive regional transportation, it would appear that Premier Christy Clark would prefer to abandon common sense in favour of pandering to the loudest critics.
Last week the TransLink Mayors' Council voted in favour of a proposed two-cent-per-litre hike in the region's gas tax to pay for the SkyTrain extension that would link Port Coquitlam and Burnaby.
The mayors could have looked at road usage fees, bridge tolls, property taxes, the gas tax or a combination thereof before making their choice - a logical one in our view, given that the property tax option penalizes property-rich but cash-poor seniors living on fixed incomes.
Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom seemed to endorse the mayors' decision Wednesday.
He thanked them for their hard work in coming up with a funding plan.
One weekend and a lot of shouting on talk shows later, Clark is now concerned that the hike in the fuel tax would be unaffordable for many families living in British Columbia.
Either we plan for people-moving options that reduce car trips, or we face gridlock in Metro Vancouver by sticking with the status quo.
If we acknowledge we need the smarter choice of better transit, it has to be paid for.
The mayors have the right to say how, and this is not an issue that Clark can have both ways.