Delta: Delta council candidate Peter Mattoo is warning Delta voters against those seeking office who support the Translink referendum on funding expected in 2015.

With Translink expected to ask regional voters whether they would be willing to pay for some form of road pricing, Delta is completely off of the entity’s political radar, according to Mattoo.

“Translink has prioritized its future projects around Metro Vancouver, and Delta is nowhere in these plans,” contends Mattoo.  “We are a city that is handcuffed in the way we plan for the future because we cannot get our basic transportation needs met.”

There are a number of options on the table for consideration, including a carbon tax (which regional mayors’ including Delta’s Lois Jackson is pushing for), a $75 annual vehicle levy, or increase tolls to all bridges.  A new provincial sales tax has also been discussed.

However, with Vancouver pushing for a new subway line along the Broadway corridor, and Surrey pushing for either a new Skytrain extension or light rail, Delta will be ignored again.  Even along major corridors like Scott Road, the Corporation of Delta is a victim of Translink’s current Optimization Program, where routes are transferred to higher usage areas across the region.

Instead, Delta must design its own transportation plan, and initiate a process where money is requested equally from the federal government, the provincial government and private sources.  Delta has unique needs, considerably lower costs to meet such needs, and the ability to be creative in securing a multifaceted funding mix, asserts Mattoo.

“Lois Jackson’s job cannot stop with securing a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel, as that was already in the plans,” adds Mattoo.  “Jackson and future Councillors must concentrate their efforts on speaking directly to senior levels of government and potential private funders to get increased transit services in Delta.”

Mattoo has vowed to be a voice that offers the most direct representation for the people of Delta on this and a range of other issues should he be elected.