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Metro Talks: Liberals’ handling of TransLink ‘a failed experiment’, says B.C. NDP leader John Horgan

Decisions about Metro Vancouver’s transit system should not be made in Victoria, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan says.

With the region’s transit plan currently stalled, British Columbia New Democratic Party leader John Horgan calls the Liberals’ handling of TransLink “a failed experiment.”

Horgan believes the region’s transit system and affordability crisis go hand-in-hand so getting the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation 10-year-plan up and running should be a priority for the provincial government.

Instead, a provincially-imposed referendum saw the region shoot down a proposed sales tax to fund the plan last year and B.C. has so far refused to give in to local demands, like putting the mayors back in charge of TransLink and redirecting Carbon Tax revenues into public transit funding.

“This paternalistic notion that Victoria knows best, I don’t think that’s true. In fact, I’m convinced it’s not true,” Horgan says.

While reluctant to “grant” the mayors anything 11 months from an election, Horgan said he is willing to make concessions the Liberals aren’t if he’s elected premier.

“I’m inclined to give power to those that need the power to deliver the service for the people they represent, and that’s not how we’ve been doing it,” he says. “I’ve spent a couple of nights just hopping on the 99 [Commercial-Broadway B-line bus]. To get on and just see, stand up with everyone else, and watch the line-ups of people on a Friday afternoon just wanting to get home … transit is letting them down.”

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