June 30, 2017

PTERR: Ending the Referendum Requirement – 4

Two down, one to go.
Finally – a response from an NDP MLA: Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver West End:

As an MLA who represents a community where 70% percent of us bike, bus, or walk to get to work I know the benefits of strong investments in public transit, and transportation infrastructure.
To answer your question – a BC New Democrat Government will get rid of the referendum requirement that has delayed progress on fixing lower mainland traffic congestion, and improving our transit system.
We will also work with Metro Vancouver municipalities to develop a new Translink governance model that provides the structure, the funding model and the certainty to make good transportation decisions to manage the system well, and most importantly, to get people to and from home, work and school faster.
Thank you for your continued work, and passion for a livable region,

It would still be great to see in writing the official response of the NDP/Green government – but we’re assuming that’s coming.  Better yet, actual legislation to remove the requirement, even if provisions are not currently in force, would be the best.

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. The NDP created local governance and TransLink. Recalibrating and improving them now would mean coming full circle. I’m sure there will be lots of debate on what the best results should be and how to achieve them, but reading these comments from someone who is cabinet material is very refreshing.

  2. I think a referendum requirement on any platform ideas not in the election platform, such as PST tax increases or road tolls, are a very good idea.
    The biggest issue in democracies today is handing a blank chequebook to (in many cases inexperienced) politicians for 4 years with no strings attached. It is immoral to burden future generations that cannot (yet) vote with excessive debt so we can have a better live today.

  3. It is immoral to burden future generations with the aftereffects of Government by Referenda. The most important referendum is on election day, and people can choose to vote for a party or individuals based on their published platform, which are customarily costed-out. If you impose referenda on every little pipsqueak tax increase, then you may as well have one on every policy, which in effect abolishes government and political leadership. Beware the tyranny of the majority, especially in an age when disinformation is rampant. Decision makers are backed by large ministries which are capable of assembling all the information necessary to make decisions.
    Save the referenda for really, really big sweeping issues (electoral reform, Constitutional change, etc.), and allow lots of time and funding to get all the arguments out to the public and fully debated — including the overwhelmingly massive benefits of taxation. And do not let biased, partisan politicians control the entire process. There are professional rules and best practices out there to learn from, and many, many examples of how NOT to conduct a referendum or plebiscite, several of them perpetrated by the BC Liberals over the last 16 years.
    All things considered, the number of general elections should outnumber referendums by at least 2:1 in a given decade.