TransLink referendum delayed



Vancouver: Metro Vancouver mayors are set to get more power over long-term planning at TransLink. Transportation Minister Todd Stone made an announcement to this effect on Thursday. Stone sent a letter to North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton, who is the chair of the TransLink Mayors’ Council and detailed his proposal.

His proposal outlines the provincial government’s support to the Mayors’ Council and TransLink in their development of a clear transportation vision. The provincial government will put forward legislation that significantly increases the ability of the Mayors’ Council to establish TransLink’s long-term strategies and to approve its plans and projects. The Mayors’ Council will be granted approval powers over TransLink’s 30 year strategy, as well as over a fully funded rolling 10 year investment plan.

Stone said the provincial government is willing to extend the referendum window to no later than June 30, 2015 but attached a rider to it that the extension depends on the Mayors’ Council articulating and presenting a regional vision, with specific priorities and costs. He added that, if the referendum is held in November 2014 or prior to June 30, 2015, the provincial government will compensate local governments for any related administration costs. He has also asked the Mayors’ Council to define a regional transportation vision with priorities and costs, to work with government as the Council considers funding sources and finalizes a referendum question, and to publicly advocate for the success of a referendum that will support the region’s objectives for decades to come.

He has also proposed to consolidate the TransLink Commissioner’s responsibilities into the Mayors’ Council, including approval of fare adjustments, oversight of customer satisfaction and complaint processes and oversight of the sale of major assets. Consistent with this expanded governance role, the Mayors’ Council would, for example, also have a voice in establishing the remuneration of TransLink’s board and executive.