Public survey urged to solve TransLink impasse: Jackson

Delta Mayor wants city administrators to convene to help devise solution to transit referendum problem

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson at a Metro Vancouver board meeting.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson at a Metro Vancouver board meeting.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson wants to organize a region-wide survey of Metro Vancouver residents about TransLink’s future ahead of an attempt by local cities to help craft a question for the promised referendum on transit funding.

Jackson tabled that notice of motion Friday at a Metro Vancouver board meeting as an attempt to help solve the current impasse between the regional mayors council and the province.

She says the survey asking residents what the want for future governance, funding and operation of the transit system would help gauge public opinion and shape a decision on the question.

Jackson proposes that senior administrators of all Metro cities would then convene to review the results and make a professional recommendation to the mayors’ council on what question should be taken to the province.

“I’m trying to make a stab at having all of us together, all the councils, the very expert staff we have at local levels, to come up with something that we can all recommend,” Jackson said.

Her motion won’t be debated until the next Metro board meeting Feb. 28.

Jackson is the lone mayor who supports the concept of a referendum, but added she would understand if the provincial government decides there is insufficient time to hold it as promised with the Nov. 15 municipal elections.

“We are not in the driver’s seat – we are a creature of the provincial government,” Jackson said. “They say there will be a referendum but if if they change direction that’s certainly up to them.”

Premier Christy Clark and Transportation Minister Todd Stone vowed this week there will be a transit funding referendum in November and urged Metro mayors to determine the priority list for projects that the question would be built around.

Surrey North Delta Leader