Speech from the Throne Signals Federal Government Prepared to Invest in Regional Transit: Mayors’ Council

December 5, 2019 (New Westminster, B.C.) – The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation welcomed today’s Speech from the Throne delivered by Governor General Julie Payette, which outlined the Government of Canada’s commitment to invest in public transit as part of making life better for Canadians.

With a recognition that “regional differences matter” and a willingness to address the unique needs of communities across the country, the government has signaled it will be open to working in partnership with Metro Vancouver to address this region’s urgent need for transit funding.

“With record-setting growth in transit ridership and a supportive provincial government ready to invest, Metro Vancouver is unique in Canada in terms of being primed for renewed federal investment in transit,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “Over the past four years, Metro Vancouver has put federal transit funding to work faster than any other region in the country, and yet we can’t keep up with growing demand. With regional consensus to move forward with Phase Three of the 10-Year Vision, we look forward to working with federal leaders to identify immediate investments that can be included in this government’s first budget in early 2020.”

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 delivered this message to the Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities two weeks ago in Ottawa.

The Mayors’ Council is continuing its Cure Congestion campaign, 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. Outreach to federal officials will include meetings with all elected MPs in Metro Vancouver, and party leaders in Ottawa.

 

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.

 

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