New federal cabinet an opportunity for renewed partnership with Ottawa on transit expansion: Mayors’ Council

Metro Vancouver mayors will seek meeting with new Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna to discuss funding to complete the 10-Year Vision and bus fleet electrification

November 20, 2019 (New Westminster, B.C.) – The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation is extending congratulations to Members of Parliament appointed to the federal Cabinet earlier today in Ottawa, and welcomed the appointment of Catherine McKenna as the new Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“I look forward to working with Minister McKenna to continue the successful partnership between the federal government, the Province of B.C. and the Mayors’ Council, which has seen us embark on an historic expansion of transit service in our fast-growing region,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Given the explosive growth in transit ridership in Metro Vancouver and a shovel-ready plan for new rapid transit projects, we are well positioned to invest federal infrastructure funds to keep expanding public transit to meet our shared goals of reducing congestion, growing our economy and protecting the environment.”

Mayor Cote also congratulated Metro Vancouver MPs who are represented in cabinet: Joyce Murray as Minister of Digital Government; Carla Qualtrough as Minister ofEmployment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion; Harjit Sajjan as Minister of Defence; and, Jonathan Wilkinson as Minister of Environment.

Recently, the Mayors’ Council sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other federal party leaders, seeking support for continued funding to complete the 10-Year Vision, based on new data that shows ridership on Metro Vancouver’s transit system is growing more quickly than anticipated – specifically, 20% more riders were added to TransLink’s system between 2016 and 2019.

The Mayors’ Council is seeking a federal commitment to formalize a permanent transit fund, create an electric bus fleet conversion fund, and complete the final phase of the 10-Year Vision. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is in Ottawa today meeting with federal leaders and officials on behalf of the Mayors’ Council.

The outreach is part of the ongoing Cure Congestion campaign, an initiative of the Mayors’ Council which engaged thousands of local voters and secured the support of a variety of stakeholders in industry, academia and the non-profit sector in the lead up to the 2019 federal election.

“Investing in public transit is one of the most important strategies for governments to reduce GHG emissions and meet Canada’s climate targets,” Mayor Cote said. “The Mayors’ Council will be looking to meet with Minister McKenna as soon as possible to discuss moving quickly to complete the 10-Year Vision and accelerate the conversion of our bus fleet to zero emission vehicles.”

 

About the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation

The Mayors’ Council is composed of representatives from each of the 21 municipalities within the transportation service region in Metro Vancouver, as well as Electoral Area ‘A’ and the Tsawwassen First Nation, and collectively represent the viewpoints and interests of the citizens of the region. The Mayors’ Council is responsible for appointing the majority of members on the TransLink Board of Directors. It approves transportation plans prepared by TransLink, which deal with transportation service levels, major capital projects, regional funding and borrowing limits. 

Media Contacts:

media@mayorscouncil.ca // 1 844 366 2890

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