Our economy, our environment, our health and our quality of life all win with Yes vote
METRO VANCOUVER — The Better Transit and Transportation Coalition says the historic Yes win in the transit plebiscite was essential for Metro Vancouver to move ahead with much-needed transit and transportation improvements. The Coalition credits the hard work from its 145 member groups, representing over 400,000 members, in helping to secure the win.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with these historic results,” says Gavin McGarrigle, BTTC Co-Chair and Unifor BC Area Director, noting it is the first time in Canadian history voters said Yes to increasing taxes for better services. “Every municipality in Metro Vancouver will have less congestion, regardless of transportation choice. We needed this result to get our region moving again and away from our traffic gridlock crisis.”
Moving ahead with the Mayors’ Council Plan is good for business, the environment, health and quality of life as the region prepares to add 1 million more people in the next 25 years, the Coalition says.
“Many people from many sectors — including business, environment, unions, students and health —stood united for better transit and transportation. It shows that a broad coalition can have an important role in making positive change,” says Iain Black, Co-Chair and Vancouver Board of Trade CEO. “We really want to thank everyone who worked so hard to get a Yes vote for better transportation and transit. We knew it wouldn’t be easy to get this result. We also want to thank Metro Vancouver’s mayors for their vision in creating the plan.”
While the Coalition feels the results show how important transit and transportation are to people in the region, it acknowledges that the plebiscite revealed a variety of public perception challenges with TransLink. “We believe it is incumbent on the TransLink board and senior management to engage the region’s residents and stakeholders to work out the issues raised,” says Peter Robinson, Co-Chair and David Suzuki Foundation CEO.
The Coalition looks forward to continuing to advocate for the region’s transportation and transit needs with senior levels of government.
“We’ve done our part as a region, now we’ll be approaching senior governments to help ensure funds are available without delay for the much-needed improvements in the Mayors’ Plan,” says Co-Chair representing students, Bahareh Jokar, former University of BC Alma Mater Society External Vice-President. “TransLink, too, should move ahead rapidly on immediate transit improvements for 2016 identified in the Mayors’ Council Plan.”
NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY 1 PM: Better Transit and Transportation Coalition Co-Chairs Peter Robinson and Gavin McGarrigle and Board Member Elizabeth Model of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association will hold a news conference to respond further to the historic Yes vote at 1 p.m. at the BC Chamber of Commerce offices in Vancouver at #1201 - 750 West Pender Street.
BTTC Bill Tieleman 778-896-0964 - cell
Vancouver Board of Trade Greg Hoekstra 604-640-5450
David Suzuki Foundation Theresa Beer 778-874-3396
Downtown Surrey BIA Elizabeth Model 604-837-4818 - cell