After being handed yet another deadline by BC’s Transportation minister in the Translink funding referendum saga, Metro mayors have fired back.
In a letter mayors demand Todd Stone clarify exactly which funding sources meet his government’s “virtually impossible” standard.
That standard? The funding source can’t impact families, the economy, or provincial revenues.
Mayors call the standard “puzzling” noting any new funding source would not meet the government’s own standard.
The mayors also reject delaying capital projects to expand transit in Surrey and Vancouver saying doing nothing will definitely impact families, the economy, and provincial revenues.
Mayors accuse the province of abrogating its responsibilities in regional transit and transportation with the referendum idea.
The letter demands legislative changes to give mayors control of Translink’s operating budget.
They also want a two part referendum question on a ballot to go before voters in March of 2015.
The question would ask if voters would support, or not, the 10 year transit vision and then one or more specific funding sources.
Mayors want to hear the Transportation minister’s response by July 29th.
Earlier this week Todd Stone said the mayors transit vision he mandated they complete was unacceptable due to the request to use carbon tax revenue to fund transit.
Stone then gave the mayors until July 15th to select a date for the Translink funding referendum.
As for a response from Transportation minister Todd Stone his office sent this out moments ago.
· The minister and Mayor Walton have been speaking regularly.
· The Mayors’ Council has suggested March 2015 as a preferred timeframe for the referendum.
· Government will work with the Mayors’ Council to finalize the date by July 15.