Transportation plebiscite fails

2015 Metro Vancouver’s plebiscite on transportation fails

Description
A provincial government-mandated plebiscite on transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver fails.

Significance
The provincial government-mandated plebiscite on transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver fails in Vancouver and almost all suburban communities. Of the voting municipalities, only three voted in favour: Belcarra, Bowen Island and Electoral Area A, which includes the University of B.C. The plebiscite and its result illustrated the provincial government’s control over transportation and the municipality’s lack of it. Around the same time, the government announced a new bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel and a freeway expansion, which would result in 10 lanes of highway reduced to four at the Oak Street Bridge.

Background
In its 2013 election campaign, Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberal party called for a referendum on transit and transportation improvements in Metro Vancouver. The government later decided the vote would be a non-binding plebiscite. In late 2014, the mayors council on regional transportation proposed a transportation plan that would be funded by a 0.5 cent regional sales tax and prepared wording for the plebiscite.
Most mayors and a coalition of community and business groups campaigned for a Yes vote but the Canadian Taxpayer Federation led a successful No campaign that centred on accusing TransLink of waste and excessive executive pay.