Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has been ousted from his position as the Chair of TransLink’s Mayor’s Council.
The decision was made by the Mayors’ Council today in a vote that saw Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan take on the role as the leader of the public transit authority’s high-level governance board.
There was also a change in the seat of Vice-Chair, with District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton replacing Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, who was not in contention. One other candidate, New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté, was nominated for Vice-Chair but failed to secure enough votes.
Both Robertson and Hepner have held their positions for the past three years, and led the Council through the failed transit referendum in 2015. Each term in these roles lasts for one year.
It remains to be seen whether Corrigan will attempt to drive the Mayors’ Council and TransLink towards a different direction with the region’s 10-year transit expansion plan.
Corrigan has been known for his opposition to many of TransLink’s plans and approaches, especially the underground Broadway extension of the Millennium Line in Vancouver.
The Mayors’ Council in its current governance form was created by the provincial government in 2014. It replaced the Regional Transportation Commissioner’s office and is responsible for the approval of fare changes, oversight of TransLink’s processes for customer satisfaction survey and customer complaints, oversight of long-term plans and strategies, and appointment of the majority of TransLink’s professional board of directors.
It has an annual budget of about $1 million, with much of this going towards the compensation of the Mayors’ Council members, comprised of Mayors and City Councillors of Metro Vancouver’s municipalities.
During the same meeting, the Mayors’ Council also approved the framework of a development cost charge that would be applied on all new developments to help fund transit expansion.