Transportation Minister Todd Stone on transit referendum results: Mayors must "re-think" funding

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      B.C. transportation and infrastructure minister Todd Stone has issued the following statement on the results of the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite:

      "We respect the decision of the voters and are proud that we fulfilled our commitment to give people in the region the final say on any new taxes proposed by the Mayors' Council.

      "It's critically important to continue to see investment in transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver. Knowing that we are expecting a million additional people in Metro Vancouver over the next 30 years, congestion challenges and costs are going to continue to increase if there is not new investment. Doing nothing is not an option.

      "The focus now needs to be on what TransLink can do in the short term to improve service for the travelling public where it's needed the most: dealing with the most congested bus routes, bus pass ups, and the need for more HandyDART service.

      "With affordability in mind, and with the result of this plebiscite, the Mayors' Council needs to re-think its plan and funding sources.

      "B.C. remains committed to investing in major new rapid transit and in a new Pattullo Bridge - the Province's 1/3 capital remains on the table. With clear and strong indications of similar support from the federal government, it remains for the region to determine how it will fund its 1/3. We will continue to engage with the Mayors' Council and look forward to hearing from them as to their next steps.

      "We also understand and share the public's concerns about TransLink, particularly when it comes to accountability and transparency. TransLink must become more focused on the goals of delivering improved customer service and reliable service levels. They now have an excellent opportunity to take a big step in this direction as they recruit a new CEO.

      "In the months ahead, we will give this more thought, and we will discuss this with the Mayors' Council, the TransLink board, other stakeholders and most importantly the public, to find other potential measures or strategies that could be implemented to achieve these goals for the travelling public."

      Comments

      10 Comments

      Anonymous

      Jul 2, 2015 at 4:25pm

      If 'investment' in transit and transportation are important, why waste our time and money on this stupid plebiscite?
      Besides, 'transit' IS a form of transportation! What an idiot!
      The next step would be clear to a single cell organism: FIX TRANSLINK!

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      Some dude

      Jul 2, 2015 at 5:04pm

      I'm sure the libs and cons are delighted. They can say they're providing funding, while not having to have to deliver. After all, metro has to come up with it's third, but the province won't give them the tools to do that.

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      Done

      Jul 2, 2015 at 5:21pm

      Fire the board of Translink.
      Quickly.

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      truth 2

      Jul 2, 2015 at 5:32pm

      “On a hot summer day in Vancouver, Truth and Lie are skinny dipping at Wreck Beach. Suddenly, Lie jumps out of the water; puts on Truth’s clothes and starts running down the road. Truth sees this and jumps out of the water in hot pursuit: what’s happening is well dressed Lie being followed by the naked Truth. Yet, to the casual and ignorant observer, this isn’t apparent.”

      That’s what TransLink is, one well dressed lie and the naked truth has finally caught up to the lies by TransLink. During debates over the transit plebiscite, more people became informed to realize that TransLink is a sham; the plebiscite raised awareness about TransLink being nothing more than a provider of transportation for the small segment of society leading very structured lives which are conducive to travel by transit.

      TransLink does not have a funding problem: it has a spending problem funneling money to firms for expensive vanity projects. What we require is less expensive transit to get the job done and it can be up and running in 18 months to UBC:

      http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/tunnel-vision-ver...

      Good job Jordan, and the Georgia Straight might balance out its "news" to reflect the public opinion rather than pander to TransLink paying for its advertorials. People aren’t as gullible as you think.

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      Howsabout

      Jul 2, 2015 at 8:07pm

      we rethink Todd Stone(d)

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      Robin West

      Jul 2, 2015 at 8:38pm

      Six million in hard earned tax payer's money has been wasted on stupidity and political vanity.

      When dear old Jimmy Pattison's name up, it became clear to me this was to become a tax to protect the auto dealers of BC from the negative sales impact of increased taxes on driving, and help the developers on the Broadway line keep windfall profits the they stand to make on their capitol appreciation especially around Broadway/Arbutus when there is some huge new development.

      I suspect also that the usual method or raising money for big infrastructure projects such as transit, which has been to float a municipal issue could be a problem as Vancouver's credit rating could soon be downgraded due to the massive financial plunder of the 2010 where millions were borrowed to truck snow to different locations and a billion was blown on "security".

      I wonder if the plan was that by raising sales taxes by 0.50%, they could save their credit rating, thereby allowing Translink to borrow more money, for example for the bridge to replace the Massey tunnel which there was no referendum on, of course.

      What ever happened to interest free loans from the Bank of Canada like those which were used to finance the Trans Canada Highway and the St Lawrence Seaway? That was before compound interest was payable on all government debt.

      Who's brilliant idea was it to have this "plebicite' anyway?

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      James Blatchford

      Jul 2, 2015 at 9:07pm

      Minister Stone and the Libs may have increased the speed limit on the Coquihalla, but not nearly enough for him to escape this stink bomb.

      The yogic flyers had nothing on Christy and this sorry crew.

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      Guilin Fish

      Jul 3, 2015 at 6:37am

      How come there was no referendum about spending over 500 millions on the stadium?

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      Beerbelly

      Jul 3, 2015 at 7:54am

      The vitriol directed at government (and quasi-governmental agencies) will bite all of you in the ass. You're all massively persuaded that you've finally discovered (oh how clever you are) that the government is stealing your hard earned tax dollars.

      When citizens feel they are being cheated by the government the result is always the same--they end up being cheated far worse by private business. Remember Ronald Reagan, "the scariest words in the English language: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" If you buy that idea, or even have some sympathy for it, you're buying into the massive transfer of wealth from the public to the private purse.

      So by all means, tell TransLink to f* off, but when the earthquake hits or your house floods or you get sick and need healthcare, please be the first to stick up your hand and say "not me, I don't financial help. I will PAY FOR ALL OF IT MYSELF."

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      James Blatchford

      Jul 3, 2015 at 10:40am

      Beerbelly is absolutely right. Christy and the Liberals cooked up this masterpiece, stuck it in the oven, and promptly left town. That Minister Stone professes to be proud of the decision to put it to taxpayers - knowing his CTF/CFIB attack dogs would have a field day - is all you need to know about his character. What goes around comes around, Mr. Minister...hope you enjoy the result while it lasts.

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