Province driving toward transit funding referendum despite mayors’ opposition

BC Liberal MLAs made it clear Monday the province is absolutely determined to force a referendum on new Translink funding, despite the unanimous opposition of Metro Mayors.

Government members moved a motion in the Legislature — details of the debate are here — endorsing their campaign pledge to hold a referendum despite the compelling arguments against from the Translink Mayors’ Council. Metro Mayors have argued a referendum is divisive and a cumbersome way to tackle a complex issue.

Virtually missing in the debate: any consideration of the intolerable congestion building up across the region for commuters either mired in traffic or lined up for buses that may ultimately pass them by.

Today’s Vancouver city council meeting approved a motion endorsing the Mayors’ stand and calling on Metro Vancouver to prepare a report on the costs and management of a referendum if one is finally held.

(The motion is a very revised version of one proposed at the last council meeting by NPA councillor George Affleck, who told today’s meeting that taking a position against a referendum is playing politics.)