The Canadian Federation of Students’ One Pass Now campaign has succeeded in forcing the BC Liberal government to fund superior transit options for post-secondary students in BC. But this win is no cause for complacency.
I have a few questions about this announcement:
- Will the BC Liberals actually deliver the money in this era of tough choices?
- Will they re-announce this money as often as they do other transit re-announcements? Have you heard of the Evergreen Line, once, twice, three times?
- Has someone done the math to figure out if the money the government is pledging will be sufficient to pay for the subsidized rates and increased service required to make the system work?
- The government enjoys legislating public sector wage increases without funding them, forcing public bodies to cut elsewhere to cover those cost increases. Will the transit systems be forced to cut elsewhere to cover a funding shortfall? Will the systems be “encouraged” to further privatize or partner with corporations or even more radically increase the adcreep in our transit systems?
- How are post-secondary students so lucky to achieve such a funding increase for transit, but not actual education, especially when after being re-elected a second time this government slashed health authority funding across the province by $360,000,000? Perhaps post-secondary students without cars are a growing demographic of BC Liberal voters?
- Why, other than to enhance its greenwashing agenda, do the BC Liberals toss a few millions to expand transit to help the environment while spending billions to increase car traffic and exacerbate climate breakdown?
Good news like this needs to be watched carefully. And I know the CFS will be watching this carefully. If the announcement is less than what it seems I’m sure we’ll hear about it, or that student lobby body will certainly lose a portion of its credibility.