At Metro Vancouver’s Council of Councils meeting on April 12, Mayor Greg Moore provided a high-level update on the work being done to develop a 10-year regional transportation plan. Mayor Moore chairs a subcommittee of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation tasked with developing a plan for consideration and approval by the Mayors’ Council.
Todd Stone, the Minister of Transportation, has sought to dispel pessimism about the outcome of a referendum on TransLink funding by pointing to success rates for other referenda. As reported in the Vancouver Sun, the Minister noted in an interview last November that “across North America since 2012, there have been (dozens) of initiatives, ballots, or referendums that were asking the voters to approve new spending measures to expand transit. Seventy-three per cent of the time, these referendums were successful.”
During the April 10 committee discussion of Bill 22—the legislation that establishes the framework for funding referenda—the Minister stated that in the last couple of years in the U.S., 79% of funding referenda were won.
But do these success rates really provide a basis for optimism? Continue reading
On April 2, Minister Stone answered a number of questions relating to investment in Metro Vancouver’s transportation system. The questions were asked by the opposition during consideration of estimates for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (the budget for ministry operations).
A transcript of the proceedings is available here. The relevant portion begins at 5:10 pm and continues for just over an hour. Anyone with a keen interest can watch a video of the proceedings, but be warned, there are long pauses between the questions and the answers while the Minister consults with staff.
Although the Minister said nothing particularly new, he did confirm and clarify several things. The following is a summary of some of his responses together with extracts from the transcript. Continue reading