BRITISH COLUMBIA

Elections BC to announce Metro Vancouver's transit plebiscite results

06/30/2015 01:37 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - The Yes and No forces in Metro Vancouver's transit plebiscite are awaiting the results of the vote to be released later this week.

Jordan Bateman, who has led the campaign against a half-per-cent sales tax hike to pay for transportation upgrades, said he's looking forward to the public's decision, which will be announced Thursday.

"The No TransLink Tax campaign supporters and volunteers are eagerly anticipating the results of the vote," Bateman said Tuesday.

Bateman, who heads the western chapter of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, has said the No side has sent a clear message that residents shouldn't trust the region's transit authority, TransLink, with more money.

The ballot question asked Metro Vancouver residents if they support a higher sales tax to pay for a $7.5-billion system upgrade including more buses, roads, light rapid transit and a new bridge in the region that covers 21 municipalities.

A spokesman for the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation has said he expected the count to be close but predicted the Yes side would prevail.

Greg Moore, the mayor of Port Coquitlam, B.C., credited the Yes forces for their efforts.

Proponents have tried to woo voters by saying the improvements are necessary because traffic congestion would only worsen because Metro Vancouver's population is expected to grow by one million people in the next 30 years.

British Columbia's chief electoral officer Keith Archer will announce the plebiscite results.