“Yes” vote critical to secure federal funding for transit infrastructure: Mayors

By on April 21, 2015

Shutterstock Photo
Shutterstock Photo

Vancouver, BC — A “yes” vote in the current transportation and transit referendum will be a critical step to securing federal funding for transit infrastructure in Metro Vancouver says the Mayors’ Council.

“Tomorrow’s federal budget is expected to announce new funding dedicated for transit. Only a ‘yes’ vote in the transit referendum will ensure that Metro Vancouver has the matching funds that are necessary to access the federal funding that can be invested in the Mayors’ Plan,” says Mayors’ Council Chair and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Should the referendum pass, the Mayors’ Plan will provide one-third of the cost shared contributions to major projects such as Surrey’s Light Rail Transit system, Vancouver’s Broadway SkyTrain extension and the Pattullo Bridge.

“Metro Vancouver needs a ‘yes’ vote to pass to access funding from the federal government,” said Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore. “A ‘yes’ vote is the only assured way to see region-wide transportation and transit improvements. A ‘no’ vote will not see these projects come to reality and there’s no other way to fund these much-needed investments.”

The new transit funding rumoured in the tomorrow’s budget is in addition to $1.1 billion already reserved for BC infrastructure in the federal Building Canada Fund, and over $5 billion more from funds allocated across the country based on merit. Metro Vancouver is in competition with Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, and other cities from BC and across Canada for a share of these federal funds. The Mayors’ Plan provides a comprehensive vision to address the region’s needs for decades to come.

All across Metro Vancouver, eligible voters have been receiving their ballot to cast their vote in favour or against the 0.5 per cent Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax (MVCIT). If a “yes” vote prevails, the MVCIT will be added on to the existing Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

Voting “yes” to the MVCIT is crucial to improving Metro Vancouver’s transportation and transit system with multiple investments that benefit commuters all over the region, whether they drive, take transit, bike or walk.  Mayors strongly urge residents to vote “yes” for this most affordable option for residents and businesses. To read more about the Mayors’ Plan, visit www.mayorscouncil.ca.

Voters must mail their ballots to Elections BC before 8 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015. To learn more about the voting process, visit www.elections.bc.ca/plebiscite .