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Falcon has made Translink his concubine.

 
Ever since Kevin Falcon forced RAV on the GVRD it has been clear to me that his intentions regarding TransLink were far from honourable. As RAV was originally conceived, cost overruns would have bankrupted TransLink, and the province would "rescue" it by taking control (like the proverbial villain and the maid tied to the railroad tracks). When TransLink saw the danger and demurred, Falcon pulled Hwy1/PM2 out of his hat, threatening to fund it instead of rapid transit. TransLink still refused, so he blackmailed them by threatening to take over the board -- which the province can legally do. Only after the province agreed to absorb cost overruns did TransLink finally cave in (by one vote). Now that the GVRD is making noises about Hwy1/PM2, he's blackmailing them again, and there'll be tremendous pressure on both bodies to submit. He's got them by the short hairs.
 
Let's not forget that TransLink was the joint creation of the previous (NDP) government and the GVRD, established to provide adequate, sustainable funding for transportation, politically accountable to the people it served. Despite flaws and underfunding transit ridership has grown steadily (though not on the provincially imposed Millennium Line) since TransLink replaced BC Transit. Now, with a car-hugging, oil-loving federal government apparently prepared to toss money into Falcon's Gateway hat, all that might stand in the way of this provincial government's plans for Greater Vancouver (which bear little resemblance to the LRSP) is a reluctant TransLink and GVRD.
 
Was it to appease Falcon and preserve the appearance of independence that the TransLink board "acclaimed" Malcomb Brodie its Chair? Brodie, who helped ram RAV through and wants to reverse the decision to buy natural gas and hybrid buses, clearly supports Falcon on Hwy1/PM2. I hope I'm mistaken, but I don't think the board that acclaimed him is about to demand queue-jumpers and buses on PM1, even if that is (for now) part of TransLink's official plan.
 
With TransLink a concubine and the GVRD a cuckold, who is left to oppose Hwy1/PM2?
 
Citizens. Now is the time for all those who will not be seduced or coerced into forsaking a livable, sustainable region to stand up and be seen as well as heard. Citizens Concerned With Highway Expansion needs our time, energy and full support as we begin the campaign to build grass-roots opposition to Hwy1/PM2 in municipalities throughout the region. It's now or never, folks.
 
Ned Jacobs.




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