February 19, 2015

Quote: Premier Clark on Translink – Oblivious or Devious?

From CKNW:

Premier Christy Clark is brushing off calls to cancel the transit tax plebiscite saying it’s important to give people a say.

And for those who think Translink itself is the problem–Clark says it’s up to Metro Vancouver mayors to fix it.

“You know the province has made a major contribution to this and I think we’ve really done what we can. Translink belongs to the mayors, and only the mayors, if there are problems that need to be addressed in Translink, can fix those, fix those problems because it’s not a provincially run organization.”

In fact, Translink was established through provincial legislation.

 How should this be interpreted:

(1) Clark knows the facts and is being disingenuous – part of a strategy to position blame on the mayors.

(2) Clark doesn’t realize the Province controls not only the governance of TransLink but effectively its operations by exercising a veto over essential funding and, through provincial legislation, structuring the make-up of the appointed board.  She doesn’t appear to know the difference between the appointed board, which runs the organization, and the Mayors’ Council, which doesn’t.

(3) Other.

Question: Is she being deliberately oblivious or devious?


More backstory:

There was a Governance Review that the Mayors Council did in 2013 to provide more information on amendments the Province was planning to the TransLink Act. Apparently not much informing took place.  The Province did it its way.

The report included a comparison of transportation authority governance with other jurisdictions around the world. The quick summary: “Our governance structure is unique in the world, and not in a good way.”

The essential point: TransLink is a creature of the Province, and only the Province can change it.  The appointed board might be able to delegate some of its powers to the mayors – but it would be at the pleasure of the board, and not enforceable or permanent.

So second question to the Premier: Will you provide the tools (and the legislative changes) so that “TransLink belongs to the mayors?”

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  1. Option 1. Even if she was ignorant at the time, she’s been corrected since then. As far as I know, she’s let the ignorance stand.

  2. She is playing the role of Vladimir Putin. Think about it… Controls the situation, urges us to solve the problem ourselves, subverts all attempts at solutions.

    1. Has it occurred to you that she may be agnostic ?

      She has been elected on a “no new taxes – read my lips” platform.

      She loathes, like me and many others, the

      a) waste of public sector spending of left-leaning politicians and
      b) catering to public sector unions and
      c) the excessive rise in public sector spending, and
      d) the anti-business attitude of many MetroVan mayors and
      e) the anti-Liberal voting patterns by many bus users and
      f) the ineptness of TransLink to deliver new fare gates or Compass card and
      g) the too low property taxes (all within city council control) that could be used to fund new subways, buses or bridges

      1. Just to add: What’s your source on the voting patterns of “bus users”? I know the right wing has the preconception that people who use government-funded services (even though transit is partially funded by user fees) are intractably against them, but do you have an actual empirical source for your statement. Or is it, you know, just a feeling you have? The Poors use transit, or so they say, therefore ipso facto and what not…

        1. Buses are SLOW.

          RAPID transit is what we need to get people out of their cars.

          People who do not value their time .. or have less money are far more likely to be NDP voters. Not 100% of course .. but maybe 70-80% I’d venture to guess.

          car users value their time, and teh individual music they vcan play, or turn the heat up or down, unlike a non-A/C bus.

          Buses are stuck in traffic. You wait OUTSIDE .. in the rain.

          The current plan by the mayors is BUS BASED. A gross mistake. It will not ease congestion on the road UNLESS
          a) car use is far more expensive, i.e. road tolls or far higher parking fees or far higher registration fees
          b) use of public transit is actually faster than car use (as is it inconvenient to switch buses, wait, or worse, wait in the rain, and/or sit in a non-A/C bus in the summer or often overheated bus in the winter .. sometimes besides questionable characters)

          I’d happily pay 10% PST if I actually got s.th. of value, like a subway from UBC or to the Northshore, or to Langley, or to Tsawassen ferry, or to Karrisdale along 41st.

          Christy Clarke, presumably, knows all that. She buys her votes elsewhere, but not in NDP bus land !

            1. No I do not, but I have common sense, like Christy Clark, and many other folks. And, as a frequent bus rider I can see faces, hear and observe.

              I, and 400,000+ others will never substitute a bus for a car !

              I, and 400,000+ others would use a subway (or elevated or at grade) RAPID TRAIN though as an alternative if one was available !

              That is the key difference: SPEED. Value of time. More commonly in people that make more money, i.e. vote NDP less, i.e. common sense.

              Common sense is not so common.

      2. To reply to your comment below here because it’s now formatted so far to the right as to be unreadable: Although you acknowledge you have no actual evidence, it’s “common-sense” that bus users vote against the B.C. Liberals and therefore – and these are your words – are worthy of loathing.

      3. “as a frequent bus rider I can see faces, hear and observe.

        I, and 400,000+ others will never substitute a bus for a car !”

        You are contradicting yourself.

  3. I don’t understand why the media doesn’t call her out. They put out sound bites that they know are factually incorrect, and then on twitter they wonder why she’s saying them. Do your jobs!

    1. The Liberals were elected on a “no more taxes – read my lips – balanced budget” platform. Many people, me included, are sick and tired of more taxes paid to overpaid public sector union run bloated bureaucracies. THAT is the core issue here: an ideological clash between fiscally conservative provincial Liberals and left-leaning overspending mayors having their hand out.

      Yes we need more transit, especially RAPID transit: along Hastings, then to N-Van and W-Van, all the way to UBC, along 41st, to Langley, to Delta, a second line going north/south, along Knight or Granville to downtown .. NOT more wobbly and slow buses.

      To get car user out of their cars we need a RAPID alternative, in addition to increased car use costs (road tolls, brdige tolls, far higher gasoline taxes, higher parking fees across MeroVan). As such this is a very weak transit plan with a majority of funding not for RAPID transit, but for more slow wobbly buses (with majority NDP voters, btw).

      And yes, Translink’s governance needs to be redone. If the head of the overseeing board is a left leaning green mayor formerly of TIDE then that organization is in deep trouble. Unclear why they do bike lanes and bridges, too .. weird.

      Christy Clark presumably knows all that.

      The mayors want either more taxes or more provincial handouts so they can continue overpaying their excessively large base of overpaid civil servants employees without any outsourcing or value for tax payer money. THAT is the core issue here: an ideological clash between fiscally conservative provincial Liberals and left-leaning overspending mayors having their hand out. Transit gets squeezed in the middle.

      A better plan has to be found, with more provincial oversight as opposed to a 25+ fractured MetroVan regional body.

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