Burnaby resident wants to raise money to help Translink

File photo. Canadian Press / Bayne Stanley

Twenty-three-year-old Burnaby resident Mitchell Sayers has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for TransLink after the transit tax failed to pass.

So far, he has managed to raise $780 in 22 hours, but his goal is $250 million – the amount TransLink would have collected in one year from the transit tax.

“I got the inspiration from the Greek Bailout Indiegogo campaign that’s been extensively covered in the news this week,” said Sayers in an email interview. “I thought, If a government can receive a bailout, why can’t a large corporation?”

“My end goal is to empower and motivate people to take initiative in their beliefs. Even if we don’t all get along and agree on issues, maybe there’s a way for people to still bring about change in matters important to them.”

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Sayers, a media content producer at PixelMotionFilms, said so far the feedback has been incredibly supportive. He removed his first campaign, set up on Thursday, as it was set to flexible funding, meaning he would keep all the money even if the goal was not reached.

“Once people actually take the time to read through several of the articles that have been posted, they can understand why I’m doing this,” said Sayers. “But on the other hand, I’ve also been called a Translink employee, I’ve been accused of secretly being the Translink CEO among other things. The best part, people are talking about it which is all I wanted.”

“Clearly, there are some amazingly passionate people who are willing to spend their own money to improve Translink.”

WATCH: TranLink Interim CEO Doug Allen says the transit plebiscite wasn’t about the company, but Insights West’s Mario Canseco says their polls show it was a major concern for voters

Sayers said this campaign is not about the money, but it is about “bringing on a difference in how the population generates change and facilitates a way for pockets of the population to receive what they believe in.”

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If the full amount is not raised, all the donations will be returned to the donors.

“If I reach the fundraising goal, I’ll probably be in talks with the CEO of TransLink,” he added. “Hypothetically speaking, if it ever reaches that type of situation, I’ll be ensuring the money is handled in a professional manner and look for popular opinion on what issues this money should go directly to.”

Sayers said there is “no way” he would let $250 million fall into unaccountable hands.

The Indiegogo campaign will run for 60 days.


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