The Green Party of Vancouver is calling on the Provincial Government to revert the governance of TransLink to local control under the Mayor’s Council - and wants the BC Green Party to take up the cause in Victoria, too.
The motion, passed unanimously by the Green Party of Vancouver’s Board of Directors, was submitted yesterday to the BC Green Party for consideration at its upcoming Annual General Meeting May 23. Green Party of Vancouver members, including Councillor Adriane Carr, cite low public confidence in TransLink’s current governance, contrasted with a good track record on the part of locally elected representatives in the management of other regional infrastructure including water, sewage, waste management and parks, as top reasons that transit should revert to local control.
“Hundreds of conversations about the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite have convinced me that TransLink’s board has lost the confidence of the public,” said Green Party of Vancouver Councillor Adriane Carr. “Participatory democracy and local decision-making are fundamental Green principles, and that’s why we are calling on the provincial government to restore TransLink’s governance to democratically elected and accountable local leadership, as was the case prior to 2007.”
The Green Party of Vancouver’s resolution (full text below) specifically asks the provincial government “to restructure TransLink by replacing the current unelected board with the Mayors’ Council as a board with full governance and oversight of TransLink; and to follow the Mayors’ Council’s advice in implementing taxes or levy dollars in the most equitable, effective and transparent way possible to make the public transit system in Metro Vancouver the best and greenest in the world.”
Full text of the resolution regarding restoring public transit in Metro Vancouver to local control:
Whereas: The governance of Metro Vancouver’s public transit body, TransLink, was significantly changed in 2007 by the Provincial Government which replaced TransLink’s board of locally elected representatives with a board of non-political “experts” to govern and oversee operations.
Whereas: TransLink’s Board has lost the confidence of many voters in Metro Vancouver, as evidenced by public debate during the 2015 Transportation and Transit Plebiscite.
Whereas: The boards of Metro Vancouver, comprised of locally elected representatives, have a good track record of governance and oversight over regional water, sewage, waste management, parks and other essential regional services through a governance model that is considerably less expensive and more accountable than the current TransLink model of governance.
Whereas: the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation’s first suggestion to reallocate the BC carbon tax to fund new investments in regional transportation and public transit was rejected by the BC Government, requiring the Mayors’ Council to consider other funding sources*, including a 0.5% regional sales tax, which was ultimately selected.
Whereas: Participatory democracy, including local decision-making and control, is a fundamental Green Party principle and the planning, governance and directions regarding sources of funding for public transit in Metro Vancouver should be made by locally elected representatives who are accountable to local voters.
Therefore be it resolved that: The Green Party of Vancouver urge the Provincial Government to restructure TransLink by replacing the current unelected board with the Mayors’ Council as a board with full governance and oversight of TransLink; and to follow the Mayors’ Council’s advice in implementing taxes or levy dollars in the most equitable, effective and transparent way possible to make the public transit system in Metro Vancouver the best and greenest in the world.
Be it also resolved that: The Green Party of Vancouver ask the Green Party of BC to pass this or a similar resolution at their upcoming AGM on May 23, 2015.
*Some facts about the funding models considered and proposed by the Mayor’s Council:
The Province rejected a reallocation of the BC carbon tax.
Vehicle registration levy and regional carbon tax were found by the Mayors’ Council to have a higher cost per household than a regional sales tax option.
Mobility pricing is not ready for implementation for at least 5 to 8 years.
Land value capture cannot generate sufficient revenue on its own.
As a result, the Mayors’ Council proposed a 0.5% regional sales tax to the Province for the referendum, which the Province found acceptable.