Wasteful transit rides are never ‘free’

Cobble Hill – In spite of the CVRD having one of the worst performing transit systems in B.C. and taking millions from local taxpayers to keep it going, they continue to give away “free bus rides” on a regular basis. More than 95 per cent of residents never use the buses.

It is dishonest for governments to trumpet a heavily subsidized, mostly empty transit system as providing free services to anyone.

Who gave these guys the right to squander our money? These so-called freebies simply force taxpayers to unwillingly put more tax money into the system while a very few enjoy not paying for their transit ride. Same goes for free skating/swimming at the huge money-losing recreational facilities.

The CVRD gives a 75 per centplus subsidy to those who use their cultural and recreational facilities.

In South Cowichan the Kerry Park arena is the largest single tax spender in the area.

It’s now budget time and a good time to take a fresh look at the CVRD forcing taxpayers to pay for wasteful practices and services and mostly empty buses. Users should be paying the full cost if they demand these extra services.

That’s what the CVRD requires for sewer and water and many other services they provide. But for some reason they love giving away tax money for transit, culture and recreation and the hundreds of thousands of grant dollars they dole out each year without much thought or accountability from their $60 million-plus of tax spending.

Our taxes would be much lower if they were consistent in policy. Let’s have full disclosure when some new service is planned as to its exact taxpayer cost and who really benefits from politicians giving away our money. A bit of honesty would help as well when advertising something as being “free”! W.E. (Bill) Dumont W.E. (Bill) Dumont Cobble Hill Cobble Hill