I’m voting ‘Yes’ in the transit referendum

January 27, 2015

I'll be voting ‘Yes’ in the upcoming transit referendum. Not because I agree with this referendum, but because transit investment is what this region needs and deserves.

Unfortunately, the premier and her government have left the Lower Mainland mayors and the people of this region with no other options to achieve it.
Because of Clark’s failure to act our per-capita transit service has been declining for five years and every day, as our population expands, we fall further behind.

The referendum question proposed by the Mayor’s Council is asking the public for 0.5 per cent sales tax increase to fund investment in the transit system. A yes vote would help fund rapid transit in the Broadway Corridor, reduce congestion, and increase more reliable and frequent bus service across the region.

Reducing congestion of our roads and our transit system benefits all of us. The premier’s failure to address transit improvement has led to the decline for the past five years. It is time that we move out of this gridlock, and towards long-term solutions to transportation improvements. If the referendum fails, the environment, economy, and livability in Metro Vancouver will continue to suffer, and improvements to transit will be further stalled.

Elections BC will oversee the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Referendum. Registered voters will be able to vote by mail from March 16 – May 29. Register by calling 1-800-661-8683, or registering online at www.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca


Libby retiring after 40 years

My friend and colleague MP Libby Davies recently announced that she will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming federal election. Libby has contributed greatly to our East Vancouver community during her 40 years in politics, and her voice will be greatly missed.

Libby’s political career began in 1978, when she first ran for Vancouver City Council. She was elected to the Vancouver Parks Board in 1980 and served on Vancouver City Council from 1982 until 1990. She was first elected Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Vancouver East in 1997.

Libby was the first openly gay female politician in the House of Commons, paving the way for gay politicians across Canada to celebrate who they truly are in their professional lives. Subsequently, she has been a strong advocate for equity and human rights for the queer community across Canada.

Libby has also worked hard to support harm reduction programs and initiatives in the Downtown East Side, for which she received national recognition. She has also been an outspoken ally for sex trade workers, and a strong voice for homeless Canadians.

Most recently, she received unanimous support for a motion calling on the federal government to take responsibility for the care of nearly 100 survivors of the devastating effects of the drug thalidomide. Whether the issues were small or large, Libby’s passion for the people and communities she served has been relentless, and unflagging.

I wish Libby the very best on her next adventure.


$500 – $1500 grants available

Do you have an idea that would help bring our community together? If you live in the Hastings North area, you can apply for a $500 – $1500 Community Small Grant from the Hastings North Community Partners Group (HNCPG).

Drop applications off in person at the Hastings North Business Improvement Association, attention: HNCPG, 2620 East Hastings, no later than February 28th. To download a CSG application, or for more details and information, please visit www.hastingsnorth.org or contact the HNCPG at info@hastingsnorth.org.

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