I would like to comment on two letters to the editor posted in the Feb. 3 edition.
They both misconstrue the facts. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
The first letter, Squeaky bike wheel gets the oil with this Courtenay council, complains that cyclists are not paying their way as opposed to drivers when in fact the opposite is true.
When the subsidies for oil and gas (about $6 billion a year in Canada) and the myriad of other hidden costs such as roads, parking lots, traffic enforcement, pollution, global warming, and the higher health costs from lack of exercise are added (and this is by no means a complete list), the cost to governments for the operation of vehicles is at least 10-15 times higher than it is for bicycles.
So who is not paying their way? Encouraging bicycle use is a win for government coffers.
The second letter, Carbon tax is unfair to low-income earners, is also wrong.
The carbon tax in B.C. is returned to residents through an income-based tax credit that equates to about $154 per adult and $45 per child, and this rebate only applies if your family’s net income is below $62,964.
So, in fact, low-income earners will likely see a net gain in income. Also, let us not forget the purpose of a carbon tax: to encourage us to produce less of it for the sake of the health of our planet.
“Sadly, it will change nothing in the global environment,” the writer goes on to say when, again, those pesky facts make it clear it is one of the most effective tools for reducing greenhouse gases.