February 6, 2015

Referendum: MLA Response – Judy Darcy

Price Tags is asking every MLA in Metro Vancouver questions about the referendum.


Judy Darcy, NDP MLA for New Westminster:


How will you advise your constituents to vote on the Transportation & Transit Referendum?

I have already been speaking out to encourage the people of New Westminster to say “NO” to congestion and vote “YES” in the upcoming referendum. The referendum was a bad idea from the get-go. It was forced on us by the BC government, which could have provided adequate funding for transportation and transit over the past twelve years – but didn’t. I share my constituents’ deep concerns about the lack of accountability at TransLink. And I encourage them to ask hard questions of the Premier about funding and accountability—as my caucus colleagues and I will be. These are both issues that the Premier can and should fix. Having said that, this referendum is about ensuring we have better transit and transportation for New Westminster and the Lower Mainland.


What is the priority in the Mayors’ package (if any) for your riding?

New Westminster is at the crossroads of the Lower Mainland’s transportation network. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles pass through the city every day, often paralyzing our streets. Dealing with this congestion is what I hear about the most from my constituents. They also recognize that an increase in light rail in Surrey will decrease the number of people driving their cars through our communities, and a toll on the Pattullo Bridge will decrease the amount of the through traffic as a result of the Port Mann’s toll. My community also very much needs improvements to HandyDART and bus service in many parts of the city.


How do you plan to participate in the referendum campaign?

I will be speaking out at every opportunity to campaign in favour of a “YES” vote, as well as asking hard questions of the government. I’m looking forward to discussing the social, economic, and environmental issues at stake with people and businesses in New Westminster. I’m really excited to see the broad coalition that is coming together in our city, from the New Westminster Mayor and Council, to the Chamber of Commerce, transportation workers, and environmental groups.


Any other comments?

Approving this plan would be an enormous step forward in solving New Westminster’s traffic problems. This referendum is about more than a better commute to and from work. It’s a referendum on our ability to get around our city, run errands, walk and bike safely, and pick up the kids from school. It affects the air we breathe and how we sleep at night. It’s about our environment and our health. This is why I believe this referendum must succeed.

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