Controversial plan to be implemented as soon as next year
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
Furthermore, in an Angus Reid poll, nearly 80 percent of Canadians said they couldn’t live without their car, even though 45 percent think it’s too expensive—especially in BC.
With the goal of helping Vancouver in becoming the greenest city in the world, on November 17, the Vancouver city council has approved the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP). Some aspects of the plan may come into effect as early as 2021 or as late as five years from now.
The full action plan lists 32 climate-based policies costing around $500 million. Some aspects of this plan could see an increase of the money spent on cars including entering the city’s downtown core, residential street parking, and taxing based on age, mileage, and carbon usage of the car. Among these actions include implementing “mobility pricing” which includes the decision to instate road tolls, or a levy for all cars entering the city, a congestion charge, and a mandatory parking permits for residential streets. It also looks to expand Vancouver’s public transportation system as well as walking and bicycling paths in order to curb people from relying on private transport or encouraging people to purchase electric vehicles. Arguments against these parts of the action plan say they hit car owners where it hurts the most—their wallets.
According to News 1130, Canadians already spend thousands on their car every year—about $5000 for leasers and financers and about $1500 for insurance and $800 covering maintenance charges. In the same article, it claims that in a survey they conducted in February with more than 2000 respondents, about 84 percent of Canadians own a car, with 37 percent owning more than one. Furthermore, in an Angus Reid poll, nearly 80 percent of Canadians said they couldn’t live without their car, even though 45 percent think it’s too expensive—especially in BC. This may hit close to home for many students as 64 percent of Canadians ages 18 to 34 own a vehicle, according to another Angus Reid poll.
The people backing this plan say that these actions will make Vancouver the greenest city in the world, others however, are more critical. For instance, many say that these plans only serve to punish car owners—especially those in the middle-to-low income bracket who rely on private transportation—and only makes living in the city more expensive. One of those critics is Kris Sims, BC director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation who says people are already struggling to make ends meet. “This is a slap in the face to the small businesses and the hardworking people of Vancouver from their elected officials at city hall and the last thing they need is over-paid bureaucrats dreaming up expensive new driving taxes,” he said in an article by CTV News.
According to the Daily Hive, in 2019, parking permits brought in more than $1.2 million in revenue for the federal government. Making parking permits a city-wide necessity is projected increase this revenue to another $1 million to $2 million annually at the start and increase to $15 million a year after three years.