TransLink board 'negligent' on SkyTrain shutdowns

TransLink board ‘negligent’ on SkyTrain shutdowns

Metro Vancouver mayors critical of rapid transit system emergency preparedness

TransLink’s appointed board of directors must take ultimate responsibility for senior managers’ failure to anticipate and prevent this month’s SkyTrain shutdowns.

That’s the position of Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew, who called the unelected board “negligent” in failing to drill down and uncover the system’s vulnerabilities to emergency conditions.

“It really begs the question what has the TransLink board been doing over the years in terms of ensuring those priority issues were properly addressed?” Drew said at a regional mayors’ council meeting Tuesday. “They just took it on blind faith. The buck stops with the board.”

Board chair Marcella Szel said the board has had high-level briefings on SkyTrain’s  emergency plan but not the fine details.

“Unfortunately it takes incidents to teach us that it didn’t work,” she said.

The exchange happened as Szel and TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis were outlining an independent review to recommend steps to improve TransLink’s response to major shutdowns or emergencies.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said he hopes there’s public support to spend necessary money on backup systems to reduce the probability of future incidents.

“We know that emergency planning doesn’t get votes and no one demands it until the emergency happens.”

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said she has lost faith in the system after her medically ill daughter was trapped on a hot, crowded SkyTrain car between New Westminster and Scott Road stations July 21 while her oxygen tank was running low.

“It was a very scary thing for me and for her,” Jackson said. “I was actually panicking. There were a lot of people on those trains and without air conditioning it was very difficult.”

Jackson told Jarvis and Szel major changes must be made to restore trust.

“The people that are using the system, with all due respect, don’t believe all of us that we’re going to fix it.”

In response to a question from Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, Jarvis said the review by Gary McNeil will also examine the Canada Line, not just the Expo and Millennium lines.

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

Just Posted

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Surrey city council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey drugstores seeking relaxation of spacing rules ‘a challenge,’ councillor says

‘Obviously we need pharmacies but it seems to me that we are getting an awful lot of applications,’ Brenda Locke says

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
Man charged after pushing pregnant woman to the ground in Surrey, police say

Surrey RCMP say it appeared to be an ‘unprovoked assault’

News Bulletin file photo
Surrey waives outdoor patio fees for pubs, restaurants

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, praised the move

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

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

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Looking east at the Cascade Range with the potential Alpine Village site in the foreground. Mt. Archibald rises on the left.
Ambitious all-season mountain resort proposed near Chilliwack

Proponents say Bridal Veil Mountain Resort could cover 11,500 acres bring in $252 million a year

Most Read