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Fragile TransLink agreements in pieces after Clark comments on audit

March 26th, 2012 · 57 Comments

Catching up on last week’s events, the story of the week was the confusion after Premier Christy Clark didn’t just announce an audit of TransLink — that was welcomed by mayors — but went on to say that she would no way allow a vehicle levy or other “new tax” to pay for transit projects.

(Realize this is all seems ancient as we now are witnessing the John van Dongen defection unroll, but for the record, I’m posting this anyway.)

The most recent fallout ash that has rained down is the news that mayors will take a look at whether they can cancel all transit expansions in the current “Moving Forward” plan if they are forced to pay for it through a property tax.

I started asking about this Friday because I remembered that mayors had asked staff to lay out for them, at a TransLink mayors’ council meeting last fall, what would happen if some part of the money for Moving Forward didn’t come through. They wanted to be assured that they wouldn’t be stuck with projects half-completed. Staff at the time reassured them that projects would be structured in a way that they could be cancelled if expected waves of new money didn’t appear.

Although they’re checking into the legalities, my memory of that meeting makes me think it must be possible to cancel some of the projects.

And, just to catch up, here are the two previous stories I wrote prior to today’s, as the TransLink-audit-vehicle levy weirdness unfolded.

Saturday’s story here and Friday’s story here. (Don’t be put off by the similar headlines on the two stories. They really are very different.)

 

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