Cycling now looks less taxing

A pair of morning radio show hosts on a Bellingham, Wash., station were recently shocked to discover during a call-in from a B.C. listener that the province’s per-litre gasoline prices equated to roughly $6 per U.S. gallon.

And that was before the B.C. government’s carbon tax hike, along with additional regional increases in some areas, struck on April 1. This, of course, amid an ongoing rise in fuel prices exacerbated by pinched supply.

“Their gas could end up as high as $7 a gallon!” exclaimed John Reynolds, who co-hosts KISM 92.9’s Brad and John Show with Brad Cash.

“And we complain when gas is $3 a gallon,” Cash noted dryly.

B.C. motorists unable to slip across the border to gas up in places like, well, Bellingham, may no longer have the option of crying over their beer, either. Federal and provincial tax hikes also put an April Fool’s markup on liquor and tobacco purchases in the province.

So Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns could hardly have picked a better time ride to the rescue — literally — by introducing a petition calling on the federal government to support a national cycling strategy. The NDP MP, who regularly cycles to work at his Ottawa office, introduced the 4,347-signature petition March 29 in support of his member’s bill C-312: Make Canada a Cycling Nation.

Hey, the B.C. NDP is doing its part. As a condition of its pact with the B.C. Green Party to form government following last year’s hotly contested election, the NDP agreed on a series of increases that would raise the carbon tax by 66 per cent over four years.

A truce in the ongoing battle over approval of twinning of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta would provide no immediate relief. Go-ahead of the project would create construction jobs, but the new pipeline is being built to convey bitumen primarily for shipment to far shores, not refined gasoline for B.C. pumps.

Cycling as a viable commuting option works best in tightly condensed, urban areas, so Johns’ proposed national cycling strategy would not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Costs resulting from such a strategy have not been totalled, but would likely include trailway and bridge infrastructure, signage and lane-marking painting, at minimum.

If only there were a growing pool of public money available to tap to make this cycling strategy a reality. Like, say, a gas tax fund?

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Four people sent to hospital in crash near Qualicum Beach

Fire crews worked alongside paramedics: Dashwood fire dept.

Sisters share exhibit in Qualicum Beach

From gnomes and fairytales to trees and texture, but plenty of connections between pair

Parksville council disagrees over parkland, payment

Developer planned to provide 0.5 ha. of land

Rodeo returns to Coombs for fourth year

Events include saddle, bareback riding and barrel racing

Model trains, historical exhibits offered at Parksville museum’s Railway Days

The family-friendly event takes place on Aug. 17 and 18 and is by donation

VIDEO: Jazz greats sound off in Parksville

Concert featured Phil Dwyer music academy faculty

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Most Read