Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

A conversation about transportation

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I just got back from a public meeting held in Vancouver by the NDP MLA’s (Jenny Kwan, David Chudnovsky and Gregor Robertson) to talk about transportation for the lower mainland. It certainly seem to be crunch time: the Bill to take over Translink is now on the floor of the leg, Translink itself is trying to rush through a 40 year plan in a couple of months (no-one from Translink could get to the meeting, unfortunately) and the Port Mann twinning/Highway 1 expansion period for comments on the Environmental assessment ends in mid November.

Translink’s new long range plan

It may be significant that the pamphlet Translink has put out on its plan has a freighter anchored off Stanley Park on its cover. The regional authority (the same one that if you give the wrong answer to one of its consultation questions gives you a potted lecture on the benefits of Gateway) certainly seems to think that moving freight from the port is the top question. Of course, the argument that we need more roads to allow for port expansion is patently false, but let’s leave that aside for a moment. Why is the process so rushed? Is it because by the time the new Board gets in place there won’t be a need to consult any more?

I hope Ned Jacobs will permit me to reproduce an email he distributed to the Livable Region list


Here it is, the shocking truth re. Bill 43, The Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Amendment Act. Opposition MLAs explain how the government secretly changed the Bill # from 36 to 43 in order to prevent FOI requests re. public submissions to the GVTA governance review panel (believed to be overwhelmingly opposed to the restructuring of TransLink) from being released. The government will not make those submissions until after the Bill is passed into law, even though the Minister of Transportation has promised time after time since last spring to do so “as soon as possible.” This Hansard link shows the perceptive and detailed research and analysis performed by opposition MLAs, and reveals Kevin Falcon for the bully, liar and tyrant he is—and the incredible hypocrisy displayed by the Premier. Kudos to MLAs Chudnovsky and Karagianis!


David Chudnovsky did bring up some thing that I think is well worth repeating. Asked by a member of the audience what was the point of going through a consultation process with a government that is not listening, he pointed to the recent “conversation on health” . That was supposed to conclude that what we needed was “more choice” and hence much more private sector involvement – but it has not worked out that way, because so many people said very clearly that they wanted a better public system. And, moreover, it has given George Abbott (the long time Health Minister) the courage to stand up to the Premier as discussed in today’s Sun. So Chudnovsky’s view is that this government can be made to listen – if we use all the avenues open to us.

So if the “reform” of GVTA, the Gateway proposals or the 40 Year Plan worry you, now is the time to send an email to your MLA. You can get the address here

Written by Stephen Rees

November 1, 2007 at 9:33 pm

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