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VANCOUVER CUPE is taking Translink to court, alleging that it violated the law when it voted for a $1.7-billion Richmond-airport-Vancouver rapid transit line without full public consultation.

Under the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Act, Translink was legally required to consult the public before changing the strategic transportation plan, the document that serves as a roadmap for transit development in the Lower Mainland. This consultation did not happen.

Taxpayers are on the hook for a huge chunk of the $1.7 billion price tag. Translink has an obligation to ensure that citizens have a say, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said.

They didnt comply with their legal requirements, plain and simple. This law is about protecting taxpayers, and it was ignored, circumvented and trampled.

The provincial government, apparently at the behest of Translink, tried to make an end run around the consultation process required by law. They introduced Bill 64 which did not require Translink to hold public consultations as previously required under the GVTA Act.

However, Bill 64 was not passed until May 29. This was after both the Translink and the GVRD boards had approved the RAV line amendment to the strategic transportation plan.

The Translink decision, and later the GVRD decision, fell under the old act. It required public consultation. This was not done, ONeill said. They tried to ram this through, but they got caught.


Barry ONeill, CUPE BC President, 604-916-8444;
Ron Verzuh, (604) 291-1940 or 828-7668.