Let's face it, finding a mailbox is not a normal part of life these days. When most communication is done online, mail ends up in recycling bins, buried at the bottom of backpacks or hidden under a big pile on a messy desk. That could be why many ballots for Metro Vancouver's transit and transportation plebiscite have yet to be returned.
Too much is at stake not to dig those ballots out and get them mailed in. One million new residents are moving to Metro Vancouver by 2040. Without a fast, reliable transit network, more people will mean longer commutes, more congestion, polluted air and less green space. Every major city across Canada has its eyes firmly fixed on this vote, the first of its kind in this country. Politicians need to know that voters value investment in transportation networks for the good of people and the environment.
Voting Yes to more effective transportation networks benefits everyone. That's why an unprecedented coalition of groups representing the environment, public health, students, business and labour have come together to support voting Yes.
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There are a few important things Metro Vancouver residents should note about this plebiscite:
- If you have lived in Metro Vancouver for the past six months as of May 29, you can get a ballot by registering with Elections BC. That means if you moved to the region on or before November 29, 2014, you are eligible. You must be a Canadian citizen and over the age of 18. You must register by midnight on May 15.
- A pledge is NOT a vote. If you have not dropped a paper ballot into a mailbox or delivered it to one of the nine Elections BC plebiscite service depots across the region you have not voted.
- Lost your ballot? You can get another one by calling Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 and asking nicely before 5 p.m. on May 15.
The vote will almost certainly be close, so if you live in Metro Vancouver there are a few things to do:
- MAIL YOUR BALLOT.
- Share the fact that you voted Yes on social media, but do not post photographs of your completed ballot as this could lead to it being disqualified.
- Put your ballot in a mailbox.
- Talk to five friends about voting Yes.
- Seriously, even if you do nothing else, submit your ballot.
For more information, visit the Mayors' Council Transportation Plan. To learn more about the benefits of voting Yes, read one of the David Suzuki Foundation's other blogs on this issue:
- Top five reasons to vote Yes in the transit referendum... even if you hate TransLink
- A vote for better transportation is a vote for healthier communities
- Transit funding will drive Canadian cities into the future