Where is our Premier? What was she elected for?

2 Feb

The upcoming transit referendum is statement of our times. A provincial government too scared to take a stand on anything, has imposed on the recently elected mayors of Greater Vancouver a plebiscite on funding essential upgrades to transit in the region. The provincial government has said they will take no position on the plebiscite, this despite the fact that the region is by far the most important economic motor of the province.

Translink is the provincial corporation responsible for transit in the region, it operates in a similar fashion to another provincial corporation called BC Ferries. Both Translink and BC Ferries were divorced from the core Provincial Transport ministry, so as to get the hot potato of transit funding out of the provincial government’s hands, and into pseudo independent corporate bodies that can be blamed whenever fares rise or service is cut. While the issue here is not about BC Ferries, one need just pick up a local paper to see the state of that particular provincial “corporation”.

The result is the mayors are being forced to campaign for funding from the public to finance the expansion of transit and road and bridge infrastructure that is operated by a corporation that is kind of run by the province. Sounds crazy, but in fact it is worse than that, because if the funding is turned down by the public, the gridlock here will get worse, and the only ones who will take the blame will be the mayors and Translink. Christy Clark and the provincial government will be able to wash their hands of it.

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