No Vote a Wake Up Call for Provincial Government

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TransLink Issues Need Resolution; Metro Vancouver Transit Needs Funding

BURNABY – With the announcement of a No result in the transit referendum the leadership of Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (MoveUP) calls on the provincial government to show leadership and fix TransLink.

“The votes have been tallied in the Metro Vancouver transit referendum and the majority of voters have voted No,” said MoveUP Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew. “Although we had hoped for a different result, we accept the results of the referendum.”

MoveUP represents about 650 members in total at TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company. MoveUP’s members work in IT, dispatch, office support and administration, security, customer service, operator training and more.

“We enthusiastically supported the Yes side because we firmly believe investing in our public transit system is necessary to prepare for the one million new residents who will be moving to the region in the next 30 years,” Mayhew explained. “Every day, our members who work at TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus see that our current system is stretched beyond its limit. Without new funds, services will be cut. Because of this, we will continue to advocate for the service our members provide to transit riders in our region.”

“I spent a lot of time listening to the public debate, and I heard that Metro Vancouver voters do want a healthy, efficient public transit system that supports our economy and our quality of life,” said Mayhew. “But this referendum became a flash point in the debate about TransLink’s governance, transparency and accountability. The provincial government has made a mess of TransLink since the word go and we’ve been an outspoken critic of the governance model from the time it was created in the late 1990s.”

“This vote is a clear message that Metro Vancouver residents want leadership from the provincial government on transportation issues, and that governance and funding problems must be addressed. We hope the government acts on this direction from the voters, and we look forward to the discussion on developing solutions,” Mayhew added.

In the final tally 290,151 people did vote for the Mayors’ Plan, in support of the economic benefits and the improvements for both transit and driving commuters. MoveUP calls on the provincial government to look at the totality of this result and take action to ensure the region’s transit capacity doesn’t fall further behind.

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Media contact:      Sage Aaron, Communication Director

                              604-317-6153

                              saaron@moveuptogether.ca        

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