$730 Million Surplus for BC, Time for a Billion for Bikes
Finance Minister Mike de Jong reports that B.C. is ending the fiscal year with a $730 million surplus. Investing a good portion of the surplus in cycling and walking will increase affordability by enabling people to reduce their transportation costs.
The B.C. economy grew by an estimated three per cent in 2015, more than triple the national average. A massive surge in property transfer tax has left the province’s coffers fuller than expected, and more help could be coming from the province to deal with housing affordability.
The Province has recently announced several cycling improvements:
- Seven Vancouver Island communities (Langford, Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Capital Regional District, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District) will get nearly $2.7 million in Bike BC Funding for cycling facilities
- Updates to Highway 97 in West Kelowna include wider shoulders and improved lighting from Glenrosa Road to Hebert Road
- Upgrades to the Sea to Sky include the Porteau Bluffs cycling warning system and may include improved shoulders near Whistler
While this is a start, much more is needed to enable everyone to cycle for their daily trips.
Please Premier Clark know that you want more cycling. Let them know what greatly improved cycling would mean for your family and community.
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I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
- Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
- Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
- Provide safe routes to school for children
- Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
- Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
- Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
- Promoting cycling & walking
- Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates