Rob Shaw’s article today in the Vancouver Sun does not pull any punches-and finally there is some truth-telling in the Provincial government’s ranks about what was REALLY going on with the lack of co-operation at supporting accessibility and good public transportation in Metro Vancouver. Kevin Falcon who used to be minister in the Liberal government said the party “lost considerable urban ground to the NDP because ethical issues chipped away at their credibility, and because of the lengthy political dispute over funding Lower Mainland transit projects…lack of progress over transportation projects, and just a little too much politics and not quite enough initiative”.
There’s been a lot of drama-the Province insisted that the Mayors Council put forward their proposed way of funding transit to a 2015 plebiscite. The Province also “nixed or delayed potential local funding sources for transit, such as a vehicle levy, road pricing or carbon tax expansion, and the result has been a multi-year fight with local politicians over money.”
And that’s not all. At the end of the campaign the Province announced that the Mayors Council would have to hold another referendum for new revenue resources to fund things like the Broadway subway or Surrey rapid transit.
“Nobody in government is perfect,” said Falcon. “But I think it’s a mistake to say we’re going to force a referendum before we make any major transportation decisions. At the end of the day, the public hates that kind of politics. What they want to see is leadership in action.”
Of course the bridge tolls, the lack of Uber or ride share and the need for taxi reforms also didn’t help to smooth things over either for Metro Vancouver. And the Massey Bridge, overbuilt and in the wrong place to support regional growth and industry became a Port project, completely against the principles established by Metro Vancouver and the Mayors Council-supported only by the Mayor of Delta with the Port in the backyard.
It’s a new day.