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Greater Victoria, BC News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
9/13/2011 Media Release
CHAMBER REITERATES CALL FOR TAXPAYER SAY ON LRT

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

CHAMBER REITERATES CALL FOR TAXPAYER SAY ON LRT

September 13, 2011 – Victoria, BC – During a presentation to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission today on the proposed rapid transit system, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce reiterated these areas of concern:

  • The requirement for a third party review to private equity standards
  • A decision making process which allows for taxpayer approval
  • The system must be governed by a regional transportation authority
  • Given the rapid transit timeframe, interim steps must be taken to ensure smooth operations continue

 

“The Chamber supports the goals of public transportation and the principles of sustainability, and that has to include financial sustainability,” said Bruce Carter, CEO at the Chamber. “Regardless of the funding mechanism, there is only one taxpayer and taxpayers must be consulted and approve a discretionary expenditure that will be in excess of $1 billion.”

The Chamber believes that a third party review conducted to private equity standards is required to ensure that the project and future service costs are financially sustainable, given the many other infrastructure demands that face the region. The review must include an analysis of construction costs and an examination of operating costs including a sensitivity analysis. Given the provincial framework and the potential risks surrounding ridership, the Chamber believes it is prudent to understand the underlying operating assumptions, particularly where the projected ridership figures are concerned.

Although BC Transit operates under the BC Transit Act, best practices and the principles of “elector assent”, outlined in the Local Government Act, must be respected and should apply for an expenditure of this size. In addition to the need for a decision by the voters of the region, the project clearly illustrates the need for a regional transportation authority that is responsible for transportation planning and implementation for all modes of transportation. We must determine the best system to both operate the transit system and our overall transportation network.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has close to 1,500 members and is the voice of business for the Greater Victoria region. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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For more information contact:

Ellen Henry                                                     Bruce Carter

Manager of Member Communications          Chief Executive Officer
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce      Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Email:  ehenry@gvcc.org                               Email:  bcarter@gvcc.org

Cell: 250-812-0510                                                                 

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