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.