I have lived most of my life in Surrey and in those 50 years, I have seen many changes. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the attitude of Metro Vancouverites and TransLink officials towards Surrey.
In the last few years it is no longer politically correct to make fun of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland inhabitants, but the Metro Vancouver’s arrogant superiority over the Lower Mainland still shines through.
“Don’t mess with flow of gas tax to TransLink, mayors’ chair warns.” In this April 1 Leader article, Delta Mayor Lois Jackson is being vocal about taking our portion of gas taxes and putting them towards a transportation system in our region.
North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton is sympathetic. He states that: “The mayors at the most remote parts of Metro Vancouver question whether they are getting fair value from TransLink.”
Remote parts of Metro Vancouver? After reading that comment I felt like some sort of distant relative trying to get a free meal from the wealthy second cousin.
I would like to be clear: It isn’t just the mayors of Metro Vancouver’s “remote parts” that believe we are not getting our fair share from TransLink. All the people on this side of the river know we are not getting our fair share. Surrey, Delta, Langley, Cloverdale, Ladner and all the other “remote parts of Metro Vancouver” really do feel left out.
I like Mayor Jackson’s vision. Take our gas tax revenue build the bridges, including the Pattullo. Let TransLink toll them going to the main hub of B.C. – Vancouver. Charge people $5 to go to Vancouver, but how about us charging $5 to come home? How about the “remote parts” of Metro Vancouver join up with the Fraser Valley Regional District, instead of Metro Vancouver? We have much more in common with the Fraser Valley than we do as a “remote region of Metro Vancouver.”
We could keep our taxes and have more for transportation than a bus system worse than mediocre and a two-mile stretch of SkyTrain that leads to nowhere.
Having lived in Surrey as a district and seen it grow into a city, it really bothers me to be referred to as a “remote part of Metro Vancouver” and to be treated as a second-rate community that has to pay extra to visit the rest of the Metro Vancouver that we are supposed to be part of.
If anyone thinks I am being petty, I remember in the 1980s a foreign newscaster referring to Vancouver as the “Village of Vancouver.” What an uproar that made.
Ken Day, Surrey