From Jeff Nagel in the BC Local News, here’s transportation minister Shirley Bond:

Transportation minister Shirley Bond is not happy with TransLink’s call for Victoria to enable road pricing and tolling of existing bridges to help deliver a 45 per cent revenue increase for transit expansion over the next decade.

[. . .]

She accused TransLink of failing to look hard for ways to cut administration or other costs instead of seeking more money.

“That’s just unacceptable,” she said in an interview. “At a time when we’re facing a global recession, we believe very strongly that organizations need to look internally first.”

Anti-Keyensian gibberish aside, Translink’s plainly not currently wasting $450 million dollars every year.  Bond knows this.  She therefore also knows that looking “internally first” is not going to let Translink find a way to pay for the development the Lower Mainland needs over the coming decade.  Obviously I can’t see into her heart of hearts, but it’s hard to reach any conclusion other than that her statement’s meant to obscure, rather than clarify, the difficult choices that the Lower Mainland faces.

There’s also a meta-point here.  Jeff Nagel, who wrote-up Bond’s statement, chose not offer his readers any contrasting views.   He chose not to seek the opinion, say, of independent transportation economists about whether it’s possible for Translink to find $450 million a year by cutting administrative costs.  He therefore chose not to offer his readers any of the information they would need in order to form their own opinions about the merit of Bond’s statement.  Nagel’s piece isn’t even “he said”/”she said” straight reporting.  All he gives his readers is “she said.”  This is why, if the Liberals get away with the review dodge, it’ll be journalists who let them do it.

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