Transportation Minister rejects transit vision offered up by mayors

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Transportation Minister rejects transit vision offered up by mayors

BC’s Transportation Minister says a 30-year transit funding plan recently proposed by Metro Vancouver mayors needs more work, and he’s leaving it up to them to decide if a referendum can be held during November’s civic election.

After explaining he’s concerned about how the  seven and a half billion dollar vision will be funded, Todd Stone is suggesting a regional carbon tax be imposed by municipal leaders, but that requires approval from voters.

“If the mayors that come forward and say that they actually do not have an intention of going to a referendum this November concurrent with their municipal election, that they would like to do it perhaps before the June 30th, 2015 deadline, then that provides, I think, everybody with a bit more time.”

Stone says the mayors have until July 15th to table a referendum question, if they want it to be added to the ballot this fall.


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  1. I wonder if the Mayors might reconsider and decide that $7 1/2 BILLION just isn’t affordable at this time. I mean, really, where do they think all this money is going to come from ? I wouldn’t vote for it as I just can’t afford taxes at 65% – 70% of my income to cover this “dream”. How about you ????

    • I agree that this is just not affordable at this time. Therefore, we must also understand that we will have to live with the congestion and transit woes as they continue to worsen in the coming years. There is not enough money for this plan so the various components will have to be prioritised so that we do only what we can afford while we live with the consequences. This should not be about the Mayors blaming the Province or vice versa. It is about the fact that the taxpayers, who will ultimately have to pay one way or the other, cannot afford the plan as good as it may be.

  2. This is what happens when you do not build for the future. This is what happens when you do not keep up with population growth. The government is to blame and the punishment should come out of the pockets of politicians, not the community who are already overtaxed and deal with the problem this province created on a daily basis!

  3. Then, Mr Todd Stone, roll up your sleeves, and get to work, come up with a plan yourself! Your boss, Christy Clark, came up with the referendum idea anyway, don’t try to blame it on the mayors now.

  4. I really do not understand why people are in such an uproar about this proposal. Mathematically, $7.5 billion divided by the total population of Metro Vancouver of 2,476,145 people using 2011 population data, equals $3028.90 per person. The plan is a 30 year plan, therefore, divide $3028.90 by 30, which works out to be $100.96 per person.

    In other words, for just $100.96 per person per year for 30 years, Translink can complete their ambitious plan of providing increased service to all parts of Metro Vancouver. Quite frankly, I know more people that amount in liquor on any given weekend when the Canucks are playing. So I ask, what is the big deal.

    • What yoy have missed is that you can’t average the pain across the whole population . Instead divide by the number of people earning a salary – so subtract out seniors, students , people living below the poverty line etc. Etc
      You will find that the per person cost will jump dramatically – say by a factor of 5 or 6 !

      • People living below the poverty line etc. You finally recognize that people with poor wages can’t pay towards anything, but they have to pay to ride transit at whatever the cost ,as you of the right call foul and scream@why is everyone picking on me! You voted for this cop out Government with a Minister who can’t find a solution himself seems too busy asking other’s to fix it for him!

    • First of all, Trip, the 7 1/2 Billion will be spent in the first 10 years. Secondly, you can rest assured that this will cost a lot more than 7 1/2 Billion. Probably, knowing Politicians, I’d count on somewhere between 10 – 12 Billion with “cost overruns”. Thirdly, we will have an unaccountable entity called Translink running the show and we have all experienced their spending habits. But the major problem is what it will do to the cost of driving a vehicle. What will happen on the morning when 1 in 10 commuters decide to take transit to work. There will be a cluster-you-know-what not to mention that so much of this funding depends on people continuing to drive private vehicles. Once Translink is successful at taxing you out of your vehicles then watch them start grabbing money everywhere.

    • That’s an interesting way of looking it. I’d sure like to see this plan though. It’s a little difficult to judge it either way without knowing more of what the mayors have finally come up with.

    • I believe that the $7.5 billion is only to cover the first 10 years of the 30-year plan. This would also be over and above the monies we now pay to Translink which is not even enough to keep the services we have now.

    • the pension that I live on now from worksalf BC doesn’t go up anywhere close to a $100.98 per year .and don’t forget that there’s still carbon tax and MSP that go up every year and now you can add hydro going up every year for the next five years and don’t forget. the BC Liberals have allowed rent in BC to go up every year from 2004 at a rate of 4% per year where the do you think the money is come from .I’m not a BC Liberal MLA that get a yearly 4% cost of living raise every year and a taxpayer paid expenses account

  5. What does this guy know about transit vision,I think Nothing.We need a election to chose some people that know how to make some intelligent scence. This guy is a JOKE.

    • Well, you obviously like the transit plan then so it would be nice to know how you came to your conclusion. Why do you support it bert?
      Or would you just like to keep having elections until we get someone YOU like?

  6. well I don’t know if inflation was factored into the 7 1/2 billion. with inflation and over-runs we are probably looking at 10-15 billion. what can we expect from the federal gov’t ? I would most likely vote no.

  7. As someone who does not live in “Metro Vancouver”, I can assure all of the people who do that you should be on your own when it comes to funding transit expansion. Much of the economic activity in “Metro Vancouver” comes from real estate development, sale, re-sale, speculation, sales to foreign residents, etc. And all with increased density. So, many people are benefiting from this, but the truth is the reason transit expansion is necessary is the increased population and density.

    Spend $100 Billion if you want to, lets just make sure that the residents of Metro Vancouver pay the cost of this.

    Trip’s math is good and I like this approach. Start collecting the $100 per year per person this year and put the money in a lawyer’s trust account to be spent only on agreed specific projects.

  8. bert, we had an election Provincially just over a year ago. “This guy” and his party were elected. I think allowing the people who have to foot the bill a say in whether they want to pay all this cash for something not that many of us are able to use is fair.

  9. This headline is very misleading. I do not see “rejection” here, just more work to be done and decisions to be made.

    That said, Gov’t left it with the mayors and seems too lazy to do much besides criticize.

    We have to get on with this, it has been left much too long already and will not get any cheaper. The funding required is over a long period of time, it is not unaffordable. It’s the cost of a few lattes a year for each British Columbian – figure it out people, stop whining and complaining about everything!

    • Cindy, I don’t drink your “lattes” because I can’t afford them. And most on here aren’t “whining”, they’re trying to make obvious, realistic points that apparently go right over your head.

    • You’re right about the headline. I kept looking for something resembling “rejection” as well.
      As John pointed out though, this is a regional issue which is where the solution and bulk of funding should come from. One would think the lower mainland mayors would seem to be the best ones to deal with it with more efficiency with their local knowledge than MLA’s representing all parts of the province. It has taken far too long for these mayors to stop scratching their heads and get to this point though.

  10. Maybe if the liberals had spent the last ten years of their mandate paying off the debt instead of living beyond their means we would have money for all these shiny toys. What do we pay in interest year in and year out? A couple billion dollars? We could have paid for this plan in three years with the money we saved in debt servicing had the liberals done their jobs! FAIL!

  11. It’s high time that ALL levels of government come to the realization that the way this country is being run is no longer sustainable. Governments have become completely unsustainable. This “make work project” called “government” has created so many bureaucratic levels that it’s pretty much impossible to know who’s doing what and why. There are so many people living off of the taxpayer teat and they are always demanding more more more that the implosion is imminent. And then what? Does Greece or Detroit ring any bells for anyone?