Anatomy of a news release: how stupid does COPE think we are?
As we approach the Vancouver civic election in November, the political parties are going to try to spin us, trick us, and, I'm guessing, even lie to us to get their candidates elected.
But I never expected them to assume we are as gullible as this news release below suggests. It came from the left-wing Coalition of Progressive Electors, which has an electoral alliance with Vision Vancouver.
COPE Reps say NPA has Head in the Sand on Tax Shift
COPE City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth and Parks Commissioner Loretta Woodcock once again are speaking out on the negative impacts of the tax shift on community services. Recent news that parks across the city are seeing garbage piling up and grass uncut is a reflection on the cuts to core services that have come as a result of shifting millions of dollars of taxes away from businesses say Woodcock and Woodsworth.
“Since the NPA introduced the tax shift in 2008, city services have been slashed by over $50 million dollars, and what we are seeing in our parks today is the result of that,” said Woodcock. “For the NPA to now be coming out and bemoaning the state of our parks strikes me as quite rich.”
Councillor Woodsworth highlighted the fact that Vancouver already enjoys the distinction of having the lowest business tax costs of 41 international cities according to KPMG and that the per capita municipal property taxes and municipal revenues in B.C. are much lower than Alberta, Quebec or Ontario. “It’s clear we’re in a race to the bottom, and if the NPA can’t seem to understand the link between city revenues and city services, then clearly they’re in the wrong line of work.”
COPE Councillors have consistently voted against the tax shift every time it has been debated precisely because they foresaw the devastating impacts it would have on city services.
First off, the NPA isn't the only one to introduce the tax shift. Vision Vancouver introduced a tax shift in December 2009.
In 2010, the Straight reported that Vision was keeping the NPA tax shift.
"We do want to continue to make sure that our businesses, our small businesses, survive in this tough economic time," Vision councillor Raymond Louie said at the time. "Given that they have been suffering for the past couple of years, it’s thought to be prudent to continue.”
Maybe COPE should put out a second news release tomorrow with the following headline: "COPE Reps say Vision Vancouver has Head in the Sand on Tax Shift".
At least that way, the party would be sending out a consistent and believable message to voters.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.