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New TransLink appointees show unity: expert

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – What will the TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation‘s decision to elect Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner mean in the coming referendum?

Gord Price with SFU’s City Program says the decision shows a sign of regional unity ahead of the coming referendum.

“It’s extraordinary really,” Price says. “I don’t think perhaps half a year ago, a year ago, people would have anticipated you would have this degree of unanimity [on an issue].”

Price says despite the perception among some that the proposed transportation plan prioritizes the big cities over smaller communities, that isn’t the case, pointing to the hundreds of busses which the strategy would add for all communities to the system.

“You could have put a smaller, less influential mayor [in that role], but the trade off would be that you wouldn’t have put the kind of people of stature that really need to be out front in this campaign, so I wouldn’t worry about,” says UBC political science professor Max Cameron when asked if people in smaller communities could feel alienated by two big city mayors holding the two key seats on the council.

Both Price and Cameron say there’s plenty in the proposed plan for the smaller communities surrounding Vancouver and Surrey, pointing out the hundreds of busses which would be added if the ‘Yes’ campaign is successful.