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March 11,2007

By Jeff Nagel
Black Press
Mar 11 2007

Many more overseers will be at the helm of TransLink, raising many questions over how it will work, says current chair Malcolm Brodie.

I believe this structure is more complicated, he said, responding Thursday to the new governance model.

He said it means expanding from a current 12-member board of mayors and councillors to at least 23 and perhaps 30-plus mayors.

He said that mayors council will have to work with a new 11-member board of professionals, a separate TransLink commissioner, as well as the province and the GVRD. Roles will be divided amongst the new entities, he noted.

There are many aspects of the structure that are not yet clear, Brodie said. It adds a great level of complexity.

Brodie said he had hoped to see the province provide a greater share of fuel tax revenue it already collects. Instead, the main sources of money are to be collected from motorists, transit riders and home owners across the region, he said.

Our commuters, our bus passengers, our property tax payers they are going to see more money coming out of their pockets, Brodie said. Its not some magical source of revenue the provincial government has given us.

Brodie wonders how the new system will mesh with the GVRD and its land-use plans, or how far-flung new cities will fit in. Its not clear what the incentives are for this board to take a regional approach.

Business leaders are wrong, Brodie added, if they think theyll save the $20 million now being collected by the TransLink parking stall tax which the transportation minister said will be killed. Its going to be part of the business and commercial tax, he said. I would say its shifted. Its hidden. But its still levied.

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