Will Surrey, Vancouver mayors keep TransLink seats?

Vote coming on mayors' council leadership for 2016

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner speaks on behalf of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation during the transit tax referendum campaign.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner speaks on behalf of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation during the transit tax referendum campaign.

The mayors of Metro Vancouver’s two biggest cities may not hang onto their influential posts overseeing TransLink in 2016 after leading this year’s transit funding plebiscite to a disastrous defeat.

Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson and Surrey’s Linda Hepner are the chair and vice-chair of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, and as a result they also sit as directors on the TransLink board.

Metro mayors will vote by early January on who should hold those seats next year.

Both the mayors’ council leadership positions and the TransLink board directorships bring major additional duties and consume large amounts of time.

Hepner told Black Press she is unsure she will seek another year, acknowledging the huge commitment required.

Robertson and Hepner took on the roles for 2015 in large part because their cities had the most to gain from new rapid transit projects if a proposed 0.5 per cent sales tax was approved, and it was thought they’d be influential in persuading Surrey and Vancouver residents to vote Yes.

But the plebiscite was defeated – just 34 per cent supported the tax hike in Surrey and Robertson could not even deliver a win in Vancouver.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson challenged Hepner for vice-chair in the last mayors’ council election, arguing then she would have more time than the busy and newly elected Surrey mayor.

Jackson doesn’t rule out letting her name stand again and predicts other challengers may surface.

“I’m sure there will be people wanting to vie for those positions,” she said. “I’ll have to think about it. It’s a big job.”

Jackson said she continues to believe it’s important to have strong representation from South of the Fraser on the mayors’ council.

“We really do have to have some strong people in those positions and they really do have to have the time to devote.”

Metro mayors warned the province after the referendum defeat that they might disband the mayors’ council and abdicate their responsibility for TransLink unless more governance reforms are soon made to the transportation authority.

A new CEO is being recruited but there’s so far been no sign of substantive movement from the province to restructure TransLink.

Despite that, Jackson said she believes the mayors must carry on and do what they can to improve TransLink and defend the interests of local residents.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, who chairs the Metro Vancouver board, said he doesn’t intend to seek either of the two seats. “No, I’ve got to keep my focus on Metro Vancouver.”

Robertson could not be reached for comment.

– with files from Kevin Diakiw

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

There are only two EV-charging stations in Campbell Heights, one in Clayton, and one in Cloverdale—with an additional station currently under construction, according to plugshare.com The federal government recently announced Surrey is getting 40 more charging stations with construction to begin immediately. (Image via plugshare.com)
Chamber director hopes Cloverdale area not forgotten when new charging stations installed

New charging stations need be built in Cloverdale, Clayton, and Campbell Heights: Scott Wheatley

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read