Letters to the Editor

TransLink more open than most

Editor:

Having read Steven Faraher-Amidon’s letter to the editor (Democracy inaction, Jan. 30), it is a good time to lay out the range of ways the public can stay informed and involved as TransLink moves forward with road and transit improvements.

First, Faraher-Amidon errs with respect to TransLink’s new board of directors.

It is not appointed by the government, but by the mayors of the Metro Vancouver region who sit on the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation. This is an important point, because TransLink’s transportation expansion plans and the taxation and transit fares to support them must be approved by the region’s mayors.

The board does not make those final decisions.

However, as those plans and the funding options are developed, the public will have a say through public meetings, open houses, online forums, public opinion surveys and direct discussions with TransLink’s board as delegations to board meetings.

This is exactly the same as the process TransLink has followed since its inception in 1999.

The public will also have access to Mayors Council processes as it reviews plans, fares and taxes, just as it had when the Metro Vancouver board performed that function.

On an ongoing basis, the public will be able to see the agenda for TransLink’s board meetings, in advance and a report on the decisions made.

That, too, has not changed.

While Faraher-Amidon’s letter suggests TransLink’s new governance structure somehow offends the hard-won principles of democracy, the facts show our process remains far more open and inclusive than most governments and public agencies.

Ken Hardie, TransLink

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