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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 7:35 PM
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9/12/10 -Mayors Council vote on Translink tax increase

Another potentially region-changing decision is coming up with the mayor's council vote on Dec 9. Unfortunately, it looks grim for the council to pass the initiative. AKAIK, only Coquiltlam mayor Stewart and Langley (city?) mayor Fassbender seems to be in favor, with umm, everyone else seemingly against.

Quote:
If both supplements are turned down, as seems inevitable, Translink will continue on course, but could lose access to $400 million of federal funding for Evergreen and about $65 million for the NFPR.

No one seemed too worried about that yesterday. The timing has never been better for Metro Mayors to force an end to the use of property tax for transit capital investment.
Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs

This in my view is an egregious and irresponsible avoidance by the mayor's council. I am not sure how something as difficult as road tolling and vehicle levies could be planned and consulted on since the MOU in early Fall 2010. The property tax increase IMO is the best option to move with this.

However, just as we had this brinkmanship with the Canada line, i think that we at SSP can try to make an impact by making our voices heard. I would strongly encourage that people who are concerned write this week to their own mayor and council, followed by emails to the translink board at large the next week and the MOT, with the vote to follow.

Some tips I can think of:

-emphasize that you are a 'desirable demographic' that cities are trying to attract (tech-savvy? in a burgeoning field? an urbanophile with a big social network that keeps abreast of politics?)
-emphasize you will watch and scrutinize how they will vote
-empathize that this is a difficult decision, but have them aim for the bigger picture.
-also ask for a response. even if you get a form email from an aide, it means that it has reached someone in their office.

In all honesty, this will likely be voted down. But IMO i don't think we should make it easy for them.

and if the MOT hears of some support, it will ensure this goes thru, maybe with the 'enhanced' funding plan.

Make your voice heard! Do you want Derek Corrigan to plan your transit?

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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 7:44 PM
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FYI for my municipality:

mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca = to all of council

gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca = to Gregor

Talking points: Vancouver and Richmond benefited from the the C-line being built first, over the evergreen. why are they refusing to support the tricities now?
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 8:14 PM
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Here are all the names of the members of the mayors' council: http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Tra...s-Council.aspx

I've had some, er, lively emails with Anmore's Mayor and Council on this issue.

Port Moody is going to be holding a 'town hall' meeting on Nov 29th: http://www.cityofportmoody.com/City+...0101119MR1.htm
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 8:22 PM
WBC WBC is offline
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Ah, the circus is back in town...This is going to end up being the same as Canada Line vote. Mayors will vote no. Then the province will make them vote again, and again until they vote yes. Or maybe, this time the province will simply override them given the lack of time...
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 9:57 PM
punface punface is offline
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How does this vote work? Does each individual city have a vote and then their mayor votes the result at the Mayors' council? Or do the mayors just vote their wish?

I would like to see how every mayor + councilor in Vancouver votes so I know who to vote for next time.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 10:41 PM
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It's up to individual mayors to cast votes for their respective communities, though mayors should certainly be polling their councilors and residents on issues like this.

Here's a handy link to email Derek Corrigan and the rest of Burnaby council: Email

Last edited by GeeCee; Nov 21, 2010 at 10:58 PM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBC View Post
Ah, the circus is back in town...This is going to end up being the same as Canada Line vote. Mayors will vote no. Then the province will make them vote again, and again until they vote yes. Or maybe, this time the province will simply override them given the lack of time...
This won't be like the Canada Line. There is no Olympics, it doesn't go in a Premier's city or benefit his business partners, and this is the Evergreen Line we're talking about. Its the ultimate carrot on the stick during election time that municipal, provincial and federal politicians will loose when the project finally has some certainty of moving forward.

I agree with Councillor Meggs and it would really be very irresponsible if the mayors turn it down. The amount of money they will loose is simply mind boggling, its beyond logic why there is even some degree of uncertainty. The property tax isn't really that much and I doubt peeps are going to revolt over $31 increase.

But at the same time, it can be frustrating at a mayor's point of view. Their suggestions of funding through transportation related schemes do hold a lot of merit, and the carbon tax suggestion is supported by pretty much everyone (including the public) but it really is the Province that is making it difficult.

But alas, once again the public is the one to suffer, most specially the Northeast Sector residents. They have been waiting for decades, have already paid more than enough of their fair share for projects that benefit everywhere else, and are the ones that are truly getting the shaft when these two projects get canceled.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 1:25 AM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Perhaps I'm being really picky, but the only places you see Dec 9, 2010 written as d/m/yy are government forms.

When I say that I was like... eh? September 12th? When did I miss that?!

Can the title be changed to Dec 9th, 2010 or if you MUST use only numbers use ISO dates, which go from most to least significant numbers ( like we'd write time: 8:32:59 ).

Yes, I know, I know... I'm being too pragmatic.

About the vote, I'd encourage anyone who is emailing Corrigan to let him know that it is fiscally responsible policy (it allows higher taxes to come from other regions as those areas densify). Burnaby is apparently the best run city in the region, and fiscal responsibility is something that may pull on his heart strings.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 1:56 AM
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@twoNeurons, if it was changed, would you write into your council? (Mods, pls change the title)

A reminder of what this might get us:

Quote:
Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project

The Evergreen Line rapid transit line will include:
Construction of 11 kilometres of new SkyTrain guideway, Five new rapid transit stations and modification of the existing Lougheed Station
Twenty-eight additional SkyTrain vehicles
Rail vehicle storage facility
Approximately 9 million annual boardings in 2015, growing to 18 million by 2020

King George Boulevard B-Line

Beginning in 2012, a new limited stop B-Line service along 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard between Guildford and White Rock Centre via Surrey Central Station will bring an additional 65,000 annual service hours to the region.
The line will feature service every 7 to 8 minutes between Guildford Exchange and Newton Exchange with service every 15 minutes between Newton Exchange and White Rock Centre.

Highway 1 Bus Rapid Transit
TransLink will invest 71,000 annual service hours commencing in 2013 (in coordination with the Port Mann Bridge project) for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on the Highway 1 corridor connecting the South of Fraser region with the Evergreen Line in the Northeast Sector. This service will establish a high-quality commuter service with highway coaches and peak period frequencies of 10 minutes following dedicated lanes with bus queue jumpers. Customers will be able to travel from Langley to Lougheed Station in 20 minutes (current travel times are 62 minutes).

White Rock to Langley Bus Service
24,000 annual service hours to support the introduction of local stop service every 30 minutes on 24th Avenue and 200th Street between White Rock Centre and Langley/Willowbrook via Campbell Heights, starting in 2012.
http://www.translink.ca/~/media/docu...kgrounder.ashx
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 2:37 AM
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Derek Corrigan is the least of your worries. I dunno why people focus solely on him just because he is the loudest. At the end of the day, he is just one vote, and he will never vote for anything that would benefit the image of the BC Liberals, which in this case, fulfilling an election promise of actually building the Evergreen Line.

If you really feel that writing to the mayors will help, focus on the ones that are on the fence, starting with the ones below.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post
FYI for my municipality:

mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca = to all of council

gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca = to Gregor

Talking points: Vancouver and Richmond benefited from the the C-line being built first, over the evergreen. why are they refusing to support the tricities now?
I can almost symphatize on why Vancouver won't vote for it. They got into a really big mess with the Olympic Village, and their property tax will skyrocket whether they like it or not. But I think they should man up and not screw the entire region for the mistakes of the creme de la creme party, which cause not only the mess in Vancouver, but also the transportation mess in the entire region.

Malcolm Brodie though, is the one I really find distasteful. The nerve of that guy even saying he will vote against it, after the North East Sector bailed out the Canada Line which benefited his city the most. That said, both him and Robertson need to be reminded yet again the sacrifices the NE sector has done so that their city can have their subway.

The ones you really need to work on are the ones that would logically benefit from property tax, especially Surrey and Langley (the other city that is not run by Fassbender). I kinda believe Port Moody will vote for it (its always a wildcard) if it knows it has a chance of getting through. I think the North Shore is a lost cause though.

There are 21 mayors, nine or ten have already publicly stated they will vote against it:

Vancouver
Burnaby
Surrey
North Van
City of North Van
West Van
Delta

I can't remember the rest due to sleepiness but I know its nine or ten from the various local papers...

Two (Coquitlam and Langley Township) said they will vote for it, and I'm somewhat sure New West will also vote for it too. So I think you need to work on the ones that can be convinced, as well as those that have not publicly said anything yet.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 2:43 AM
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Just one more reason for amalgamation - do away with these petty potentates and their fiefdoms.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 3:48 AM
Vonny Vonny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post

[...]

Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs
[...]
This in my view is an egregious and irresponsible avoidance by the mayor's council.

Mezzanine and all, I am afraid that I agree with Geoff MEgg, and more especially when he says:
Quote:
The timing has never been better for Metro Mayors to force an end to the use of property tax for transit capital investment.
I have expressed my view in more detail here , but to compliment it:

If mayors vote yes, that is just to postpone a drama for a far more important (and expensive) required investment in the Broadway line, so better to tackle the issue now.

regarding the base plan, I have objection on the UBE. In this one, the senior government's contribution is not enough to justify to expedite the project and force the mayor vote.

Regarding the extensive plan, and more noticeable the Port Mann bridge rapid transit..

That is a provincial project which has been sold to us by the Province with the rapid transit component: I strongly disagree to see a single penny of property tax going into it.
That is a provincial problem and only a provincial problem, let Victoria and Victoria alone, deals with its unfulfilled promise to SoF residents, soon forced to pay a toll to cross a bridge with not transit alternative at all... haha !

Now, I agree that we shouldn't turn down $500 million of federal money on Evergreen line, but there is at least one other alternative to property tax increase, and this one is cut/optimization in other transit service, in the tune of 4% like I have computed here... and it is in my opinion what the mayor should vote for.

So you will have understood that if I write to my mayor, it will be to support the "No", but also to explain him what he should expect from Translink

Though I understand and respect your viewpoint, I am sorry to be at odd here.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 4:07 AM
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http://www.vancouversun.com/Mayors+u...792/story.html

Ha.Ha.Ha. Translink should halt all service improvements to Richmond and Burnaby or something. Either that or redistribute the buses away from them, god knows they don't deserve any improvements.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 5:05 AM
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The argument that the mayors make is that property taxes should be used for municipal infrastructure and the more of these taxes that go to Translink the less that they can raise taxes to pay for things such as roads & sewers.

For lack of a better phrase that is and emergency use of this tax income, and should be accepted by the Mayors Council and the they should sit down with Victoria and deal with the funding once & for all. either Road Pricing, or a collection mechanism that will allow a Vehicle Levy to be imposed.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 7:14 PM
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The Provincial government signed a memorandum of understanding with the cities back in September in which everyone agreed that, among other things, there would be (from Section F.3.c):
Quote:
Potential new and innovative revenue sources that will shape transportation choices in favour of transit, cycling and walking, as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions.
...and then Translink turned right around and asked for more property taxes. Property taxes in no way encourage transit use. The current funding deadline is the last bit of leverage the mayors have, there's no way they should squander it by voting "yes".

I'd be pretty surprised if the Federal funding couldn't be resurrected again once the Provincial government steps up to the plate with it's promise of new funding options.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 7:50 PM
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So what happens to that Federal money if these stupid children (mayor's council) can't agree and figure something out before December 31st? Are we up the creek? We can't find $400 million, how the hell are we going to come up with twice that?
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 8:17 PM
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Translink spends money on more than transit.

Golden Ears, Port Mann, Patullo -- anyone familiar with those billion dollar projects?

Originally the local transit was a subsidiary of BC Hydro. A couple decades ago the GVRD, now Metro Vancouver, agreed to take responsibility for regional roads, bridges, and transit. In exchange the province took over hospitals and their associated debt. Translink and ____ Health Regions are a new construct.

I don't support the blocking of funding to Translink from property taxes. I do agree there are ways of funding Translink that are better than property taxes.

There's no need for amalgamation, and what's more amalgamation hasn't worked well in other Canadian cities imo. Dissolving Translink and trying to cooperate as individual cities would produce similarly poor results.

We just need a way to cooperate in a way that leads to stable benefits for one and all. As a starting point I would like to see a report of Translink's revenue, administration costs, operating costs, and capital spending over time -- in a way that highlights the location and type for each.

Everyone's feeling defensive and indignant, city councils have been fanning the flames. Let it be known who has been paying more than their fair share, and who has been getting a free ride -- and then move on.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 8:20 PM
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If the MoT was responsible for building infrastructure once again rather than Translink then things would be a lot easier..
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 8:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aberdeen5698 View Post
The Provincial government signed a memorandum of understanding with the cities back in September in which everyone agreed that, among other things, there would be (from Section F.3.c):
...and then Translink turned right around and asked for more property taxes. Property taxes in no way encourage transit use. The current funding deadline is the last bit of leverage the mayors have, there's no way they should squander it by voting "yes".

I'd be pretty surprised if the Federal funding couldn't be resurrected again once the Provincial government steps up to the plate with it's promise of new funding options.
What part of 'potential' don't you understand? Car drivers are constantly being hit with the stick (carbon tax, provincial and federal fuel taxes).. we should be improving non-SOV infrastructure rather than punishing those that don't ride bikes or take transit everywhere. But I wouldn't really expect anything else from someone with as many posts as you in the bicycle infrastructure thread.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 9:07 PM
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Mayor of Coquitlam on CKNW now.
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