Friday, February 7, 2014

The Vancouver Board of Trade welcomes yesterday’s announcement that a referendum on transit funding in Metro Vancouver could be delayed, and urges the provincial government to push back the referendum date to June 30, 2015, in order to give the public ample time to consider the referendum question and its implications.

“Our regional transportation network is the backbone of our economy,” said Elio Luongo, Canadian Managing Partner, Tax, for KPMG and 2013-14 Chair of The Vancouver Board of Trade. “The efficient flow of goods and people directly affects the economic competitiveness of our region, our province, and our country. It’s crucial that the public fully understands what’s at stake, before going to the polls.”

The Vancouver Board of Trade’s Policy Council acknowledges that Metro Vancouver already has a world-class transportation network in place. Recent investments by TransLink, the provincial government and the federal government have led to completion of the Canada Line and construction of the new Evergreen Line, as well as a new SeaBus, 48 new Skytrain cars, new WestCoast Express Cars, and new buses.

However, with another one million people slated to move to our region over the next three decades, more needs to be done.

“We’re facing a complex challenge in Metro Vancouver, and it’s clear that the decisions we make today will have ramifications for years to come,” said Iain Black, President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade.

“On behalf of the region’s business community, we’re calling on the Province and the Mayors’ Council to work collaboratively to educate the public appropriately and to ensure this referendum is undertaken properly.”

Black added that The Board of Trade is cautious about giving any additional powers to the Mayors’ Council, and noted that the organization will be monitoring any proposed TransLink governance changes very closely.

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