BRITISH COLUMBIA
03/27/2014 02:24 EDT | Updated 05/27/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. tables legislation on transit referendum and TransLink governance

VICTORIA - The British Columbia government has tabled legislation that will allow Metro Vancouver mayors to determine the timing of a controversial referendum on how to fund transit expansion in the region.

A referendum was to be held in November, during municipal elections, but Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the vote can take place at another time if local governments can come up with a funding plan by June.

Stone has also introduced a bill that would give local governments more control over the TransLink system's regional strategies and investment plans.

The bill would allow regional mayors to approve policy decisions such as fare increases as well as oversee executive and board of director compensation.

The mayors, who represent Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and 15 other municipalities, have complained they have no say in a transit system that's operated by an unelected and unaccountable board.

A transit funding referendum was promised by Premier Christy Clark during her election campaign last year.