'It's time for a restart': Metro Van mayors hope new government brings new relationship

'It's time for a restart': Metro Van mayors hope new government brings new relationship

  • September 9, 2017
  •   366

Transit, affordable housing and tax reform are all on the wish list — so is better communication

A decade ago, Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore wanted to become a B.C. Liberal MLA. He ran for the party in 2005 and became a regional organizer for them.

But when Moore looks back at how the previous provincial government worked with cities like his own, he is less than complimentary.

"There were some areas that we worked well together, but there were big files ... that we really didn't work very well together," he said.

"There was definitely disagreement."

Moore is chair of Metro Vancouver, the regional organization that provides services and plans for regional growth across 21 municipalities.

On the two issues that dominate political debate in the Vancouver area — affordable housing and transportation infrastructure — the previous provincial government didn't always see eye-to-eye with municipalities.

"It was strained. It was very difficult for them to come and see our way of doing things," said North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto.

But as the NDP begins governing in the legislature, both mayors say the relationship is improving.

"It's time for a restart, a reboot," said Mussatto. "So far, I'm encouraged with what I've heard."

Rejected referendum

It's possible the bonds between municipalities and the B.C. government were doomed from the moment in the 2013 election campaign when former premier Christy Clark said the government would require a referendum before it would approve new transit funding.

That took many mayors by surprise and launched a contentious back and forth with the B.C. government on how a referendum would unfold, with voters ultimately rejecting the proposal in 2015.

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