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Hon.

Claire Trevena
Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure
Hon. Selina Robinson
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

December 18, 2017

Dear Minister Trevena and Minister Robinson,

Re: Critical time to secure funding mechanism for Mayors Council


10-Year Plan

The David Suzuki Foundation is keenly interested in seeing the Mayors


Council 10-Year Vision for
Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation proceed along with increased
investment for B.C.s
broader transit plan. We were pleased to see the federal governments
March 22, 2017
commitment of approximately $2.2 billion for Phase Two of the 10-Year
Plan. We were also
heartened to see that the mandate letter for the Ministry of Municipal
Affairs and Housing calls for
you to support the Mayors Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver
Transportation We look
forward to Budget 2018 confirming the Provinces funding of 40 per cent of
the capital funding.

Despite these positive developments, we are growing concerned that a


funding mechanism that
would ensure Metro Vancouver generates the revenue to fulfill the regions
transit and
transportation funding gap1 has yet to be supported by the Province. Metro
Vancouver has
suggested some options to the Province, such as allocating the
incremental carbon tax collected in
Metro for the 10-Year Plan, and has also recently approved a new
development cost charge that
will raise $20 million annually for transportation infrastructure. Yet time is of
the essence: if this
regional funding is not secured through an appropriate mechanism through
the Provinces action,
the federal funds previously announced for investment in Metro Vancouver
transit infrastructure
may be reallocated elsewhere. Furthermore, broad support for 10-Year
Plan is based on years of
collaboration and hard work between local citizens and organizations
representing all the regions
communitiesand backed by extensive public engagement processes and
tens of millions of dollars
of investment in technical analysis.

Further delay or political mishandling would turn this historic opportunity to


modernize B.C.s
transportation system and improve the quality of life for British Columbians
into one of the most
costly blunders in the regions history. This would set back transit and
active transportation
investments in Metro Vancouver by a decade if years of hard work are
abandoned and costly processes repeated, only to return to this same
point where agreements with all levels of government would again need to
be secured. It would also represent a lamentable loss in
economic opportunity for the region and employment for the workers who
would build these projects.

With broad support for the regional transportation plan and billions of
federal investment dollars
available, the Province now plays the lead role in ensuring that the 10-Year
Plan is fully funded and
that it goes ahead without further delay. The 10-Year Plan supports the
governments key
commitments to British Columbians:

* The government committed to make life more affordable. Investing in


transit and active
transportation will help reduce the costs of congestion faced by Metro
Vancouver
businesses and residents when goods and people are stuck in traffic,
which already costs the
region more than $1 billion per yearand that figure is expected to grow to
$2 billion by
2045. Transit investment will reduce the health care costs caused by
vehicle exhaust and
accidents; as well, investments in cycling and walking will help favour
active lifestyles. These
investments also help reduce inequality, as affordable and effective public
transit improves
mobility for low income families.

* A second commitment is to ensure service delivery. As population


continues to grow,
investments in Metro Vancouvers transit and active transportation will
continue to lag
behind the need. Too often, transit users are passed up or the service is
too infrequent to
make it a viable way of commuting. The 10-Year Plan is intended to
address these issues.

* The governments third commitment is to build a strong, sustainable,


innovative economy
that works for everyone. An innovative economy hinges on an efficient,
effective and clean
transportation system. Again, the 10-Year Plan delivers on this front and
will help the region
attract and retain employers and employees. It will also help reduce the
regions and
provinces greenhouse gas emissions.

To take advantage of this historic opportunity for infrastructure


improvement, it is critical that the
provincial government give Metro municipalities the tools needed to fulfill
the regional funding gap.
It is equally critical that provincial legislative authority be exercised to
create new revenue sources
to supply a further seven per cent of the necessary investment until the
projects are completed.

We urge you to find the means to ensure the necessary investments so


that Metro Vancouvers
transit and transportation networks are able to accommodate the one
million additional residents
expected in the region by 2040, all the while making the region more
livable and sustainable. We
believe that arguments that the 10-Year Plan needs reconsideration, or
that B.C. lacks the capacity
to proceed with so many projects at one time, are misplaced. Any delays
put funding now on the
table at risk. With a rapidly growing population, worsening congestion and
high transportation
emissions, inaction or delay is not a viable way forward and is inconsistent
with BCs climate
commitments.

Your choice to show leadership and support Mayors Council 10-Year


Vision for Metro Vancouver
Transit and Transportation in B.C. Budget 2018 and legislate a long-term
funding solution for the
region, would represent a landmark political breakthrough and help solve
many of the most
pressing transit and transportation challenges that the region faces.
Furthermore, your decisive
action would mark a major effort to address climate change and to create
the livable, healthy
communities that make life better and more affordable for British
Columbians.

Yours sincerely,
Ian Bruce
Director of Science and Policy
David Suzuki Foundation

cc. Hon. Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink


Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Strategy
Hon. Honourable Carole James, Minister of Finance
Hon. Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health
Hon. John Horgan, Premier
Hon. Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Dr. Hedy Fry, MP, Vancouver Center
Mr. Randeep Sarai, MP, Surrey Center, Chair of Federal Liberal Pacific
Caucus
Ms. Lorraine Cunningham, Board Chair, TransLink
Members of the Metro Vancouver Mayors Council on Regional
Transportation
Dr. Susanna Laaksonen-Craig, ADM, Climate Action Secretariat