House of Commons online petition launched to fund new SkyTrain extensions

Nov 27 2019, 5:00 pm

A Member of Parliament (MP) for a Metro Vancouver riding in the south of Fraser has supported an online petition on the House of Commons’ website that asks the federal government to enact a new annual permanent public transit funding to help cover the cost of key regional transit projects.

The online petition was launched by former Cloverdale-Langley City Liberal MP John Aldag and supported by Fleetwood-Port Kells Liberal MP Ken Hardie.

As campaigned by the Mayors’ Council, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and other local leaders during the recent federal election, this Congestion Relief Fund would be a $3-billion annual federal fund for projects across the country, with $375 million set aside each year for TransLink projects in Metro Vancouver.

It would begin in 2028, after the current federal Invest In Canada public transit infrastructure funding program ends.

During the campaign, the federal Liberal, NDP, and Greens supported the establishment of such a fund. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new minority government is expected to establish partnerships with these opposition parties to effectively govern and deliver policy.

“The new Liberal government committed in its 2019 election platform to make the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent and to ensure it keeps up with the rising costs of construction over time by adding an additional $3 billion more annually in stable, predictable funding for Canada’s cities’ transit needs,” reads the petition.

“This additional long-term and stable funding will allow TransLink to commit to the implementation of its 10-year plan to address high-priority areas across Metro Vancouver.”

Such a fund could be used to help cover the $1.5-billion cost of extending SkyTrain from Fleetwood to Langley, the $3-billion cost of extending SkyTrain from Arbutus to UBC, the $200-million cost of the SFU Burnaby Mountain gondola, and expanded bus service.

The online petition closes on January 17, 2020. Currently, 107 signatures have already been collected.

At least 500 certified signatures are required for the petition to be presented or tabled in the House of Commons and sent to the Privy Council Office, upon which the government will be required to issue a formal response within 45 calendar days.