More than 450,000 members of Coalition organizations urged to vote at Elections BC plebiscite centres up to May 29 deadline
METRO VANCOUVER — The Better Transit and Transportation Coalition is asking its 145 supporter groups to urge their 450,000 members to vote Yes, if they haven’t already, as the Metro Vancouver plebiscite ends this Friday, May 29.
And the Coalition’s four co-chairs say those who haven’t yet voted should walk, bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or cycle their ballots in to one of Elections BC’s nine plebiscite centres by 8 p.m. Friday May 29 — rather than mail them in — to be sure they are counted.
BTTC co-chair and David Suzuki Foundation CEO Peter Robinson said the Coalition is optimistic Metro Vancouver residents have taken the time to listen to the positive reasons why — with one million new people coming to the region in the next 25 years — it’s vital to improve transit and transportation.
“It’s been a long campaign, but with over 40 per cent of residents already voting it shows that transit and transportation are recognized as extremely important to Metro Vancouver,” Robinson said. “When more people vote in a transit and transportation plebiscite than cast ballots for their local mayor and council last November, it’s clear how central this issue is to our communities.”
The Coalition says it has been greatly encouraged by the enormous number of business, labour, environmental, student, health, community and other organizations that have joined it to support the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council plan for urgently needed transit and transportation improvements.
“This is an unprecedented Coalition of people and groups who have never before worked together in this manner,” says co-chair Iain Black, president and CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade. “This diversity clearly illustrates how important it is to vote YES to bring to life the Mayors’ Council plan and thereby achieve a better economy, environment and quality of life.”
Co-Chair Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. area director, said he believes the Coalition will continue to play a role in the future, advocating for transit and transportation improvements.
“It will be up to all Coalition members to decide, of course, but I’m hearing from business, labour, environmental, student, health and community groups that there is an important role for this Coalition and this type of collaboration — to continue to push for more and better transit and transportation,” McGarrigle said. “Regardless of the outcome in this referendum, the need for a broad Coalition to advocate for transit with all three levels of government is critical.”
The Coalition’s co-chair representing students, Bahareh Jokar, former UBC Alma Mater Society external vice-president, said students and young people have the most at stake in the plebiscite.
“Our youngest voters are those who will gain the most benefits from making transit and transportation improvements now,” Jokar said. “The already choking traffic congestion, air pollution and inadequate transit service of today will not just continue but get worse if the plebiscite does not get a Yes vote — and students and youth will pay the highest price for inaction.”
Ballots must be received by Elections BC in Victoria or one of the nine plebiscite service centres by 8 p.m. Friday May 29, so while mailing your vote in is still possible before Friday, it should be done immediately.
The Coalition co-chairs thanked the 145 member organizations for their strong support over the campaign and for all get-out-the-vote activities in the final voting days.
For more information:
Better Transit and Transportation Coalition
Bill Tieleman: 778-896-0964 or 604-844-7827
David Suzuki Foundation
Steve Kux: 604-374-4102
Vancouver Board of Trade
Greg Hoekstra: 604-640-5450