EDITORIAL: Base breaks on income, not age

Predictably, Kamloops council has again dismissed a notice of motion filed last year by former councillor Donovan Cavers.

Cavers failed in his bid for a third term on council in the Oct. 20, 2018, election. At his final council, meeting, he submitted 11 notices of motion, with one to be introduced each month for the next 11 months.

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It is June and, this past Tuesday, another notice of motion was received and dismissed by council — but not before healthy discussion.

Cavers’ idea was to offer seniors free use of transit during mid-day, non-peak hours. It is an idea worth considering, as some councillors noted, but why limit such a program to seniors?

As some councillors noted, there are others in Kamloops facing similar financial constraints who could use a hand up and onto the bus.

In the end, because more information on impact is needed and because the transit budget for the year has been set, council decided to not embrace Cavers’ idea just yet.

However, this provides an opportune time to urge council — and any level of government or private business — to widen the scope when considering discounts for customers.

Not all seniors are fiscally challenged, just as not all 40-somethings are financially secure.

If transit use is to be offered free to a group, let it be as segment that is in need of such a break due to the numbers in the bank account, not the digits on the birth certificate.

Transit’s ARCH program already does that — providing subsidized rides to people with low income.

It is now time for all other discount programs to follow suit and design a method for testing and determining which customers and clients should qualify for eligibility.

© Kamloops This Week


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