Tuesday, 6 March 2012

One fifth of the way there ...

The country club conservative of Tuxedo (who just "feels your pain" so very much in Arizona) hiked various city fees/taxes - just two years after demonizing the supposed "home no more" tax increase proposal of Judy Wasylycia-Leis. Now city council might reverse one of his fee hikes - the transit use one. A significant number of transit users aren't particularly wealthy, so it'd makes sense for the supposed "champion of Winnipeg's working class" to find more progressive ways of financing the city's transit services. 

While the entire Public Works Committee voted to rescind the fee hike, the ultimate showdown will happen on March 20 - the day of the debate on the 2012 City Operating Budget. Katz's Executive Policy Committee might reinstate the hike, so let's hold our breathes.

All in all, though, the reversal shows the power of a little grassroots organizing at the municipal level. Community members, students, and even city councillors all protested this hike. People power can go a long way in a mid-sized Canadian city.


  1. My favourite of the grassroots protests in an article from the Manitoban:

    "One local business is reacting to the transit fare increase. After the increase was approved, Parlour Coffee stated they would charge the city councillors who voted to approve the hike a 25-cent premium on all their drinks.

    "Nils Vik, owner of the downtown coffee shop, said he felt it is important to react to 'such an unprecedentedly high transit fare increase because it directly affects many of his clientele and his staff.

    “'The way in which the motion was passed [ . . . ] was absurd,' Vik said. 'I thought that an equally absurd fee for a minority of people would be just as logical.'

    "Vik said the main goal is to create a conversation and to send a message to city councillors that businesses as well as individuals are upset about this decision."