The Harper government has promised up to $2.6 billion to cover a third of a major Toronto transit project, which could be good news for Metro Vancouver.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the regional mayors’ council is in the process of applying to the feds and province for funding for transportation, but must wait first for the results of the transit plebiscite. Voters were asked whether they support a 0.5-per-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for transit projects.
“The federal funding we need for the entire mayor’s plan, that $7.5-billion plan — we expect one third of that to come from the federal government, and one third also come from the referendum approval. If we get that, we have the local dollars.”
All of the items in the Metro Vancouver mayors’ plan, including light rail in Surrey and rapid transit along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor, need federal funding.
“It’s complicated. If it’s a ‘no’ vote, it’s difficult to say exactly what happens next because that means there is no local contribution to major projects.”
The B.C. government has committed to fund one third.
Results of the transit plebiscite are expected by the end of June.