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.
Question: Is she being deliberately oblivious or devious?
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?”