Transit referendum results: Metro Vancouver votes "no" to tax hike for public transit expansion

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      The province asked Metro Vancouver if it wanted to spend more money on public transit and the people said "no".

      The non-binding plebiscite asked residents if they supported a 0.5-percent increase in sales tax for money that would go towards a plan to improve transportation infrastructure and public transit services throughout the Lower Mainland.

      According to results released today (July 2) by Elections B.C., 38.32 percent of people voted in favour of the tax and 61.68-percent voted against it. The turnout for registered voters was 48.64 percent.

      The vote was a non-binding plebiscite proposed by the provincial government and conducted via mail-in ballot from March 16 to May 20, 2015.

      The plan included a number of infrastructure projects and service improvements for municipalities throughout the region. For Vancouver, there would have been a Broadway subway. Burnaby would have gotten new B-Line routes plus more frequent SkyTrain service. There would have been additional Canada Line cars for Richmond commuters. Surrey and Langley were promised light-rail lines. And North and West Vancouver would have received new B-Lines. The region as a whole would have seen a 25-percent increase in bus service and 2,700 kilometres of enhanced bikeways.

      The City of Vancouver voted 49.19 percent in favour of the plan and 50.81 percent against.

      Burnaby was 35.06 percent in favour and 64.94 against. Richmond was 27.61 versus 73.39. Surrey was 34.46 for a "yes" and 65.54 for a "no".

      Coquitlam 32.78 percent versus 67.22 percent, Port Coquitlam was 32.15 and 67.85, New Westminster was 45.45 and 54.55, Delta was 32.16 and 67.84, White Rock was 40.74 and 59.26, and Langley voted 25.05 in favour of the plan and 74.97 against.

      West Vancouver voted 44.11 percent in favour and 55.89 percent against while the District of West Vancouver voted 44.11 "yes" and 55.89 "no". The City of North Vancouver voted 44.92 versus 55.08, and results for the District of North Vancouver were 44.61 versus 55.39.

      The only jurisdictions where a majority voted in favour of the tax increase were Bowen Island (61.92 percent), Metro Vancouver Electoral Area A (UBC) (58.57 percent), and the Village of Belcarra (52.15 percent).

      The highest "no" votes came from Maple Ridge (77.03 percent), Langley (74.97 percent), Richmond (72.39 percent), and Pitt Meadows (72.16 percent).

      Reactions to the vote will come throughout the day.

      At 11 a.m., Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, and Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore will hold a press conference in Burnaby. And TransLink interim CEO Doug Allen is scheduled to speak at Waterfront Station in Vancouver at 12 p.m.

      Comments

      61 Comments

      So far so good...

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:14am

      I just wonder if this will be the end of this. I can't help to think, this isn't over, even with the 'No' vote winning in the end.

      jiminy k

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:21am

      So totally frustrating that so many, mostly suburbanites, get to--without being informed on complex urban planning issues--have a knee-jerk, anti-tax reaction to destroy progressive momentum. Individual whining trumps collective progress. Thanks for nothing.

      katscat

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:37am

      For what its worth, the people I know who voted no did so because

      1) they want bettet transit but they don't trust TransLink and don't believe an incompetent organisation should be getting any increase in funds.

      2) its non binding, govt is gonna do what it wants anyway

      out at night

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:39am

      This would be a good time to invest in an electric-assist bicycle. We now have a decent network of bike routes (plus lots of roadways perfectly suitable for riding) and with transit service about to shrink and car ownership increasing it's time to look at your best option for getting places on time. My E-bike allows me to glide past and around traffic jams, leave late and canceled buses behind and arrive places dressed for work cuz I don't have to work up a sweat on the ride if I don't want to. I think it might just be the wave of the future.

      Jasper Des Roches

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:40am

      Time to move out of Metro Vancouver?

      Nj

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:47am

      I think the no vote was more a vote of no confidence in TransLink than a vote either for or against a tax raise or any of the planned projects.

      matt in langley

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:51am

      The mayors and councils spent $7M (likely more) of our tax dollars and lost the vote. Can they now return all of their car expense claims and at least .5% of their salaries until the $7m is recaptured.

      02coastal

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:52am

      No vote against Robertson and his group of con men, your the reason it lost in Vancouver

      HL

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:55am

      I think if another company run the transit system, many of our would have voted yes. Overall, we would like to see improvement, but we just don't trust Translink.

      MannyHo

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:56am

      As NJ said above, this referendum became about Translink, not transit. Too many see Translink as wasteful and badly run. No one is going to want to pay more taxes to contribute to that. Fix Translink and you'll probably get a Yes vote next time. But the BC Liberals are too stupid and weak to take that on.

      In the meantime, I think Vancouver should keep reducing the number of roads heading into the city from outlying areas who all overwhelming voted No. If they have to sit in even more traffic, they may feel differently about public transit, which only helps reduce car traffic.