BRITISH COLUMBIA

TransLink Referendum Timing Open For Discussion: Christy Clark

01/27/2014 01:55 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT
VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark says the timing for a referendum concerning Metro Vancouver's transportation system is open for discussion.

In Vancouver Monday, Clark acknowledged the region's mayors want more time to get together on a proposed region-wide vote on transportation infrastructure that could be worth billions of dollars.

Last week, provincial Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the government was committed to a fall referendum tied to the November municipal elections. Stone said the Liberals were preparing to introduce legislation this spring that confirmed the fall date.

But Clark said talks are underway with the mayors about the November referendum date.

"We sure would like it to be on the ballot in November," she said. "We're talking to them about that."

The mayor's, who represent Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and more than a dozen other municipalities, say the only thing they are united on at this time is their opposition to a fall referendum date.

Opposition New Democrat transit critic George Heyman said earlier the government's plan to force a fall transit referendum is bound to run out of gas. He said the Liberals have derailed earlier transit proposals by area mayors and now there isn't enough time to convince Vancouver-area voters to pay more taxes to improve transit.

Heyman said improving transit in the Vancouver area is an issue that has economic, environmental and social impacts.

Clark promised a region wide transit referendum during last May's British Columbia election campaign.

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