Small Business Welcomes Changes to TransLink



    VANCOUVER, March 8 /CNW/ - Small business owners are celebrating Minister
Falcon's announcement that as of next year the parking site tax is history and
TransLink will be overhauled. "On behalf of small businesses in the Lower
Mainland we want to deliver a message of thanks and gratitude to Minister
Falcon and the provincial government" said Laura Jones, Vice-President, BC &
Yukon and Co-chair of the Park the Tax Coalition.
    On a recent CFIB survey, 89 percent of business owners gave TransLink a
"poor" rating on "understanding how its decisions impact small business."
Survey results also show that 95 percent of businesses oppose the parking tax
and 95 percent were not consulted. The tax was so widely reviled that
12 percent of small business owners indicated they would consider leaving the
GVRD as a result.
    "TransLink was out of control and completely out of touch with the
hardworking small business owners who create jobs, contribute generously to
local charities, and generally enrich the fabric of our neighbourhoods. When
you are out of touch with small business - restaurants, barber shops, cafes,
and greengrocers - you are out of touch with communities. There needed to be
some radical changes; the provincial government is delivering and small
business owners are cheering," she continued.
    In its submission to the governance review panel, CFIB raised a number of
concerns about TransLink including its lack of political accountability, lack
of meaningful consultation with business owners, lack of concern over the
impact of its policies on communities, lack of transparency and lack of
adequate financial oversight and planning. "The new governance structure is
promising. Combining a professional board with political accountability to
each community with the Council of Mayors is creative and we look forward to a
much better working relationship with them," said Jones. "Now mayors will have
to answer directly to their constituents if they support bad policy," she
continued.
    Thousands of business owners and their customers participated in the
campaign to scrap the parking tax. "This is a great day for small business
owners, their employees, their customers and anyone concerned about the
economic health of the GVRD and British Columbia's reputation as a
jurisdiction that is open for business," said Jones. "Thank goodness the
provincial government cares about small business and the communities they
support because TransLink sure didn't," she concluded.





For further information:

For further information: Nicole Nash at (604) 684-5325 or by email at
nicnas@cfibmail.com


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