Letter: Realtors on Lower Mainland transit referendum failure

Real Estate Foundation of BC encourages support for mayor's plan and partnership between municipal, regional and provincial government.

To the editor:

Open letter to B.C. Premier Christy Clark:

Re: Sustainable funding for transportation in Metro Vancouver.

We are writing this letter to share information with the province related to sustainable funding for transportation and to encourage support for the existing Mayors’ Investment plan. We hope that it will continue to be considered by the province despite the recent plebiscite outcome.

The Real Estate Foundation supports real estate and land use practices that contribute to resilient, healthy communities and natural systems. We provide funding to non-profit organizations working to enable positive change in communities across British Columbia. Built Environment Sustainability is one of our five grant program areas. We fund research, education and law reform initiatives that help contribute to efficient, liveable development and infrastructure and address integrated community needs for housing, buildings, energy, infrastructure, transportation and open space. We promote regulations, policy, planning and practices that support a more sustainable built environment through complete, compact, livable, energy efficient, transit oriented development that responds to the diversity of community needs.

In 2013, our Board approved a grant to Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, for a project called Moving in a Livable Region: Investing in Transportation for a Growing Economy.

This public education and outreach initiative aimed to engage people on potential policy approaches to help advance a sustainable funding regime for transportation in the region. The project goal was to raise the level of knowledge and public discourse on pressing issues surrounding the governance, planning and funding of Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation system, which influences land-use practices, quality of life, housing affordability and the health of the regional economy.

This research involved input from various local and international transportation experts, Best Management Practices from other jurisdictions, and consultations with local residents from across Metro Vancouver. We hope that the province will consider these findings, which highlighted why a Frequent Transit Network is essential for our economy and quality of life and provides the backbone to a regional transportation system.

In addition, findings indicated a need for more fact-based information about how transportation affects Greater Vancouver residents. In 2014, REFBC provided grant funding to Clean Energy Canada to conduct research with the CD Howe Institute on the economic costs of congestion for Metro Vancouver. The research analyzed the costs of commuting times, car ownership, and infrastructure associated with transit, roads, bikeways—all of which are important considerations for stakeholders and land-use decision makers at regional and municipal levels. The report highlights the societal benefits that arise from dense, transit-oriented communities, and assigns a comprehensive dollar value to the hidden costs of unsustainable land use practices and associated congestion problems in the Vancouver area in a way which had not yet been done. It provides valuable information relevant to decisions on the costs and benefits of transportation funding. The Foundation believes that this important research should continue to be considered and shared with the public and decision makers, along with more information on how transportation needs are currently funded.

Cooperation on investment in transit infrastructure in the region can have a positive effect on land use and real estate practices, with associated social, environmental and economic benefits. The Foundation hopes that TransLink, Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities and the province can partner in the future to ensure that land-use plans and transportation investments are well aligned.

Jack Wong, chief executive officer

The Real Estate Foundation Of BC

 

Just Posted

Three UBC Okanagan students awarded women in tech scholarships

Computer science and math students hope the award will inspire others

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Rockets break four game losing streak in Edmonton

The Rockets defeated the Oil Kings 3-1

Okanagan Floral Design students create elaborate Christmas arrangements

The students are making the floral arrangements as part of the Homes for the Holidays tour

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Crash closes Highway 33 south of Kelowna

Estimated time of re-opening is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Most Read