The chair of the Translink mayors council says there is a growing sense of frustration from mayors about the mandated transit funding referendum.
Richard Walton says Transportation Minister Todd Stone has clarified things some what with his comments today rejecting the idea of using carbon tax revenue to fund transit.
But Walton says mayors were sideswiped by a new deadline to come up with a date for the referendum itself.
“Well the July 15th date to come up with a date was new. I don’t think we have seen that before. It may be problematic depending on our discussions on Thursday. At this point the mayors council has not deviated from its initial position from a year ago, which is that we do not support the referendum.”
Walton says it will be a challenge to try and sell another regional carbon tax to voters.
“Going to a secondary additional carbon tax will certainly be a challenge. It would be a challenge to put forward in a referendum. Certainly the carbon tax has been recieved with mixed views by the community and certainly if we are going forward with that we will be having those discussions within the next week.”
White Rock mayor Wayne Baldwin says frustration among mayors on the transportation council is growing.
“Yeah it is very much a frustration. Fundemantally it is the provinces referendum and they have tried to throw it into our laps and we have said no this is yours we will help but this is your referendum your idea your referendum. It is a frustration for us. We didn’t want it in the first place. We don’t think it is a good way to govern. The choices are not really for palatable for people but we have to play with the cards we are dealt.”
The mayor of Burnaby has had enough as BC’s Transportation minister calls the mayor’s transit vision “unacceptable.”
Derek Corrigan says the mayors have worked hard as mandated by the provincial government but have had ideas rejected at every turn.
Corrigan says the transit referendum is entirely the BC Liberals idea and it might be time for mayors to toss the funding issue back into there lap.
“I think we should simply disband mayors council and leave it for the provincial government to deal with these issues. They are refusing to cooperate in any meaningful way with local government. I think mayors have gone well beyond the pale in trying to find ways to be able to work with government.”
Mayors will meet Thursday to decide next steps.