Mayors' Council reaffirms commitment to Broadway Subway and Surrey LRT under new leadership

Jan 26 2018, 8:09 am

Metro Vancouver’s Mayors’ Council voted today to reaffirm their commitment to implementing the approved 10-year plan that would see the construction of new major transportation infrastructure projects, including the underground SkyTrain extension of the Millennium Line to Arbutus, the new Surrey light rail transit (LRT) system, and the Pattullo Bridge replacement.

A motion introduced by Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore was unanimously supported by the region’s mayors during today’s Council meeting.

Concerns arose over the future of the projects after the Council voted last month to appoint Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan as the new Chair of the Council, replacing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

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.

At the time, the change in leadership was widely seen as a desire by a majority in the Council for a change in direction and priorities.

During his speech to the Council prior to the vote that elevated him as Chair, Corrigan suggested it may not be possible to build the SkyTrain extension, LRT project, and new Pattullo Bridge at the same time. He also stated there should be a greater focus on the bus system instead of rail.

Corrigan, who has been called “anti-TransLink” and a “transit-regressive Mayor” by some of the region’s City Councillors, was the only Mayor to vote against the 10-year, $7.5-billion plan in 2014 and was subsequently the only Mayor absent from the pivotal 2016 vote over the $2-billion Phase One transit expansion plan.

He was also against the Canada Line project during its planning process about 15 years ago.

“I put this forward to ensure there was clarity on the Mayors’ Council moving forward,” said Moore.

“I have personally heard from different stakeholders – provincially, federally, chambers of commerce, citizens, and so on – about maybe some confusion about the commitment to moving forward with Phase II and ultimate Phase III due to change in leadership around this table.”

Moore’s approved motion also called on the provincial government to fulfill its promised funding commitment of covering 40% of the total costs of the expansion plan and work with the Council to close the $60-million to $80-million annual regional funding gap.

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