From Peter Robinson at the Suzuki Foundation:
Today’s announcement that the B.C. government will provide one-third of funding for Phase 1 of the Mayors’ Council’s transit plan fails to address a critical gap that must be closed to get projects moving.
Transit is a fundamental issue for our region. It affects everything from the economy to the environment to the length of our daily commutes. The federal government has committed 50 per cent of the funds needed for projects across the country. If the provincial government and regional mayors can’t set aside political differences and create a plan to come up with the full remaining amount, Metro Vancouver risks losing the federal investment to regions that can.
The Mayors’ Council has presented a plan to apply new revenue tools to raise the remaining 17 per cent required, but the province hasn’t committed to implementing it. All today’s announcement does is repeat history by failing to provide a complete solution to the region’s transportation challenges. Our leaders need to move now to implement to the tools needed to generate the required funds. If they fail, we will all pay the price.