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Metro Vancouver says a resounding No to new tax in non-binding plebiscite

Transit vote: Metro Vancouver says a resounding No to new tax in non-binding plebiscite
 

Metro Vancouver voters rejected a proposed boost to the provincial sales tax to fund transit improvements including more buses, light rail in Surrey and Langley and a Broadway subway.

 

Metro Vancouver has voted overwhelmingly against raising taxes to fund transit and transportation improvements, with more than 60 per cent of voters supporting the No side.

Between March 16 and May 29, voters from 23 municipalities in the region were asked to return a mail-in ballot asking whether they supported adding 0.5 per cent to the provincial sales tax for a “Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax” to fund transit and transportation improvements.

The 10-year, $7.5-billion plan included proposed improvements such as road upgrades, increased transit service, a new Pattullo Bridge, light rail transit in Surrey and Langley, a Broadway subway and expanded pedestrian and cycling networks.

The results of the non-binding plebiscite, announced at 10 a.m. Thursday by B.C.’s chief electoral officer, Keith Archer, show that the No side came out ahead with 61.68 per cent of the vote, while the Yes side garnered just 38.32 per cent of ballots cast.

In Vancouver, 49.19 per cent of the city’s 210,249 voters voted yes while 50.81 voted no.

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In Surrey, just 34.46 per cent voted yes while 65.54 per cent voted no. In Burnaby, 35.06 per cent voted yes and 64.94 per cent voted no.

Elections B.C. had to count a total of 759,696 ballots, representing 51.09 per cent of B.C.’s 1,562,386 registered voters.

Of those ballot packages returned, 38,393 were not considered for failing to meet the requirements of the plebiscite regulations, and 2,513 were spoiled.

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