It’s “game on” for Translink’s bid to secure gas tax funding for Evergreen Line and service expansion

Premier Christy Clark’s decision to kill election speculation and govern for another two years means “game on” for Translink’s drive to secure a two-cent increase in gas tax for the Evergreen Line and other service improvements.

A snap election would have put the funding supplement in double jeopardy, given the imminent municipal elections Nov. 19 and the possibility of a change of government in Victoria. Now the way is clear for the region’s mayors to vote the supplement through — or not — in as little as four weeks.

That would clear the way for Victoria to legislate the gas tax increase in a fall session.  Without regional approval, the legislation could be in trouble. After the rejection of the HST, Premier Clark is unlikely to want to legislate a gas tax increase over the objections of elected officials who are headed to the polls themselves.

With congestion and transit problems top of mind for Metro Vancouver voters, the coming for weeks will be critical, especially for residents of Vancouver and Surrey who must wait through the Evergreen project to see improvements in their cities.