Minister Stone should support mayors’ question, campaign for yes, in TransLink referendum  

VANCOUVER – New Democrats are calling on Transportation Minister Todd Stone to commit to supporting the referendum question being finalized by Lower Mainland mayors, and to campaigning for “yes” in the TransLink referendum.

“The mayors met the minister’s challenge to come up with a vision, and he called that vision into question. Now, with very limited time left to prepare for a spring referendum, the premier and Minister Stone need to stop putting up roadblocks and jeopardizing its success,” said New Democrat spokesperson on TransLink George Heyman.

“Right now, it seems the B.C. Liberals can’t even agree on whether or not they will campaign for a yes vote. The minister says he is ‘committed to success,’ but the premier says her government is going to ‘let mayors lead this.’ Which is true? The B.C. Liberals need to commit today to making sure their ill-conceived referendum succeeds, before both our economy and our region’s roads end up gridlocked.”

The Vancouver and Surrey boards of trade, the B.C. Federation of Labour, as well as student groups and environmental groups, are already preparing to support the referendum, said Heyman, and the B.C. Liberals should work alongside them.

“Traffic congestion in our region is costing the economy billions, and it’s leaving drivers stuck in gridlock and transit users waiting for overloaded buses. If this referendum fails, it will have a serious impact on our provincial economy and the future of this fast-growing region,” said Heyman.

“That’s why Lower Mainland mayors have strongly supported transit investment. The B.C. Liberals need to start working seriously with the mayors to secure a ‘yes’ vote.”