Business lobby wins support of Vancouver Sun to put Regional Growth Strategy in the ditch

When the City of Coquitlam declared itself the lone hold-out against approval of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan worried that the decision could see the long-awaited plan delayed and perhaps destroyed. His fears appear to be well-founded.

First, Community Services Minister Ida Chong rejected Metro’s appeal for a binding arbitration process, requiring Metro instead to go through an open-ended voluntary process. Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Metro officials are exchanging letters on how that might work, but it won’t work quickly.

Now the Vancouver Sun, responding to pressure from a business lobby worried about goods movements,  has slammed the RGS, claiming it “ignores economy [and] lacks coherence.” The entire project should be withdrawn for review, says the Sun. Columnist Daphne Bramham seconds the motion, condemning Metro’s “unelected board” and hailing “Coquitlam’s brave stand.”

(I would be interested to see if the Sun has previously editorialized on the plan, for or against.)

But the RGS is not the product of a dictatorship. It was produced after exhaustive consultation and then approved by a vote of every single Metro council except Coquitlam. Now, however, as Corrigan warned, it appears this multi-year project is in serious trouble. With municipal elections just months away, that is not good news.