Mayor Gregor Robertson to blame for "no" win in transit referendum, NPA councillor George Affleck says

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      A Vancouver city councillor says Mayor Gregor Robertson deserves much of the blame for the "no" side's victory in the transit plebiscite.

      The Non-Partisan Association's George Affleck said today (July 2) that he is “deeply disappointed” about the results, which saw 61.68 percent vote "no" and 38.32 percent vote "yes" across the region.

      “The Mayor’s team took control of the ‘yes’ campaign and created the perception – whether true or false – that the City of Vancouver had the most to gain from a ‘yes’ vote. That obviously didn’t sit well with regional voters,” Affleck stated in a news release.
      “As a Council, we gave the Mayor the ability to speak on behalf of our city. We did not give him a mandate to take over and control the ‘yes’ campaign. The disappointing result of this plebiscite seriously calls into question the Mayor’s ability to lead the people of our city.”

      In Vancouver, 106,818 people (50.81 percent) voted "no" and 103,431 people (49.19 percent) voted "yes".

      Affleck's release also attacks Robertson for his "many other failures and broken promises".

      “In addition to the failure of this plebiscite, the Mayor has failed to end homelessness as he promised, failed to deal with housing affordability, failed to keep the City’s debt in line, failed to resolve the Arbutus Corridor stalemate, and most importantly he has failed to engage the citizens of Vancouver in a truly positive and meaningful way,” Affleck said.

      Meanwhile, Green councillor Adriane Carr asserted the results mean it's time for a "re-think" of transit planning in Vancouver.

      “Our job now is to reboot transit planning and link it to city planning as a whole. The “no” vote gives us a chance to re-think some fundamental issues, like can Vancouver be the greenest city and a 100 percent renewable energy city with diesel busses and concentration of resources on a few very expensive rapid transit routes? How do we pay for new transit? What is the citizens’ long-term vision for their city and what forms of transit and transportation will achieve that vision?" Carr said in a news release.




      Jul 2, 2015 at 11:43am

      Oh please. Methinks Affleck is planning to run for Mayor. So partisan. The No vote was more of a referendum on Translink, not on transit. Not many wanted to vote Yes for more of their tax money going to a broken, wasteful agency. More of the blame goes to the BC Liberals who do little to fix the problem with Translink.


      Jul 2, 2015 at 11:43am

      Mayor Gillespie-Robertson is part of the reason for the failure but ultimately the well-publcised mismanagement of Translink even as the "Yes" side produced studies showing how super Translink is led to many people having no confidence in the promises. We hear time and time again how "unique" and "complex" the Compass card is to justify the ever increasing costs and being years behind schedule. What is amazing is how other cities that have the same "unique" mix of systems and zones and whatever other rubrics they wish to list have functioning smart cards. Systems combining different zones, modes of transport and ticketing have turnstiles or gates that accept all cards and tickets: magnetic stripe and tap out on the same system!!! Wow. You can see on the useless Translink fare gates where the magnetic stripe reader slot would be on an truly integrated system but apparently it is "better" requiring two fares when changing modes.

      Translink is incompetently managed, top-heavy with over-paid executives padded by myriad "managers" and other useless drones who contribute nothing to service provision. They have an entire real estate arm of high priced suits who handle their portfolio, like the big empty lot near the canada line bridge or other places they are neither selling nor leasing. They waste millions on "consultants" for things like scheduling, last time they hired "experts" from the airline industry: ever noticed airplane traffic jams happen at the beginning or end of the flight and are rarely delayed because the planes stop in mid-air?

      The bureaucratic ethic is derived from two factors: money is always going to come in & provding services to the public is secondary to the existence of the management. Bureaucracies do not follow government budgets, they simply spend how they see fit and rarely does that mean increased services to the public. Remember the millions given to Surrey Memorial to increase the number of surgeries? Most of that went to managers and consultants who "studied" the problem. An operating room can sit unused while 5 floors up a dozen "managers" and "consultants" spend the day "brainstorming" how to decrease surgical wait times. That happens I every public bureaucracy and it gets worse every year. Money allegedly budgeted to services is in fact used for salaries and bonuses for management. Standard practice, nobody cares.

      James Blatchford

      Jul 2, 2015 at 11:47am

      Actually, George, as you are perfectly aware, the blame lays squarely with Christy Clark. The mayors were only trying to salvage a bad situation when one of CC's thought bubbles blurted out that there would be a referendum. Nice try though.

      Jim Green

      Jul 2, 2015 at 12:04pm

      All that was missing from this was the mic drop. Seriously Affleck trying to body the mayor right now, and while I don't think Gregor can take full blame for the transit referendum he can definitely take blame for all the other points that Affleck brings up.

      Sarah Beuhler

      Jul 2, 2015 at 12:44pm

      This seems like a clumsy stretch - even for Affleck. Sure Robertson et al are not doing great with this file, but it's not for the reasons Affleck is saying.

      The real question should have been:


      We should:

      - reunite the Ministry of Highways with the Ministry of Transportation,
      - put aging bridges and roads infrastructure back under provincial aegis,
      - democratically reform Translink's governing board
      - increase public transit capacity by 40% in the region by 2020
      - ban the fatally corrupt SNC Lavelin from bidding on any future Metro Van projects
      - forbid mayors and city councilors from ever sitting on the board of corporations they voted to give contracts to while they were elected officials.

      This stupid, costly, cynical exercise in transportation planning should have been boycotted by every thinking person in Metro Van. The Massey Tunnel coal shipping bridge will cost $3 billion with no hint of a referendum.

      Clark played us all, and the yes side walked right into it, like a bunch of chumps.

      Philip Weill

      Jul 2, 2015 at 12:47pm

      While the transit vote certainly isn't all Gregor's fault, it's good to see the opposition party doing its job and calling Gregor out on all his failings.


      Jul 2, 2015 at 12:54pm

      Most predictable response ever?


      Jul 2, 2015 at 4:22pm

      I won't be voting for Mr. Affleck ever. Or the NPA. I'd like people who've progressed past the emotional age of a kindergartner to run for office.
      I voted against Translink's outrageous inability to grasp the issue, not Mr. Robertson.


      Jul 2, 2015 at 5:51pm

      You're aware that people who believe in democracy haven't grown up beyond teh concept of a violent mob getting its way, right?

      Philip Weill Cont.

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:13pm

      Wow. So many thumbs down.
      Dear thumbs downers, Do you disagree that opposition parties should call the gov't out, or disagree that Gregor's a failure?
      p.s. please support with evidence, ie homeless count results, plebiscite results, documentation re. Vancouver's affordability etc.
      p.p.s Does anyone else remember when he promised funding food programs for disadvantaged kids, and then failing to bother?