VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The NDP says Premier Christy Clark’s cool reception to a gas tax hike to pay for the Evergreen Line is just “policy on the go.”

Transportation critic Harry Bains says Metro Vancouver mayors worked hard to find a solution with Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom. “Now this premier comes in and throws cold water [on the plan] and threw, actually, her minister under the Evergreen Line.”

“I think that is not the way to run this province,” he tells News1130. “You say one thing today and you change your position tomorrow.”

Bains says part of the carbon tax should be used to pay for transit.

Metro Vancouver mayors react

Metro mayors say the transportation minister may have to sell the premier on the merits of a gas tax hike because of Christy Clark’s skepticism about their proposed two-cent increase.

Just a week ago, Metro Vancouver mayors voted in favor of increasing gas taxes by two cents to help fund the Evergreen Line.

West Vancouver’s Pamela Goldsmith-Jones speaks for the council and admits Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom may have to convince her it’s a good idea.

“I’m hopeful that she’s creating some space for us to have this dialogue with the public, and to give herself some time to think about what hangs in the balance,” Goldsmith-Jones tells News1130.
She doesn’t think Lekstrom will back down, and will still introduce legislation to raise the gas tax in the fall.

“We said last week that this period in the six weeks, two months is going to be consultation with the public and also that it’s up to the minister to introduce this legislation in the fall.”
Clark simply says she’ll give the mayors more time to come up with another solution.

If approved, the tax hike would take effect next April.