Mayors' hands are tied over transit funding
In light of MP James Moore’s admonition that Lower Mainland cities need to provide regional funding in support of the Evergreen Line, it is important to clarify a key fact.
When the provincial government restructured TransLink, it didn’t give the region’s mayors the power to propose regional funding solutions. The act spells out very strict parameters regarding regional funding for transportation infrastructure.
The act also ties the mayors’ hands in that funding sources are very narrowly defined. The act includes a detailed approval process that severely limits the mayors’ role.
The province has given TransLink and a commissioner appointed by the province specific powers relative to the preparation of regional funding proposals (called supplement in the act). Once a supplement has been developed by TransLink and reviewed by the commissioner, only then can the mayors exercise their power to “approve or reject any supplement.”
Lower Mainland mayors have been given the burden to raise their hand in support of tax increases for regional transportation while bound in the straightjacket of ill-conceived legislation that gives them no influence over TransLink’s operations and the use of these funds.
Mayor Joe Trasolini, Port Moody