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Debate ensues on cost of greener solutions for garbage disposal and transit in Metro Vancouver 0

By Richard Zussman, QMI Agency Vancouver

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is pointing to "green" projects, such as an underground SkyTrain line to UBC, as misguided efforts that will cost voters big in the long run.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is pointing to "green" projects, such as an underground SkyTrain line to UBC, as misguided efforts that will cost voters big in the long run.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has raised the red flag on going green. The CTF sent out a warning that the Metro Vancouver plan to build a $450-million waste incinerator could see property taxpayers’ garbage bill go up 43%.

“Regional politicians get overly excited with the possibilities of going green, even when the perception doesn’t line up with reality,” said CTF B.C. director Jordan Bateman. “But it’s taxpayers who bear the brunt of these billions of dollars in costs.”

Bateman also pointed fingers at plans for an underground SkyTrain to the University of B.C. He said the project is the most costly option possible and the 12-kilometre proposed route could be traded in for more than a 100 kilometres of light rail throughout Metro Vancouver for the same cost to taxpayers.

Local mayors have defended the drive to go green. Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s zero-waste committee, said projects, like the incinerator, may cost a lot up front but have long-lasting impacts that are not just good for the environment, but good for the economy.

“You are always looking to see the costs and benefits of what you are doing. The alternative right now is landfill and our analysis shows that over the long run, even with the significant capital costs of waste energy,” said Brodie. “We are going to come out far ahead when it comes to waste energy than when it comes to landfills.”

Brodie estimated it will take 30 to 35 years to hit the break-even point, but during that time there will be benefits because of reduced energy costs.

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