METRO VANCOUVER – The much-touted alternative transit and transportation “plan” released today by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is little more than a predictable, familiar and repetitive complaint, says the Better Transit + Transportation Coalition — a new coalition representing business, labour, environment, student, community, health and other groups.

“The CTF plan is a long complaint we’ve heard before that offers no alternatives to families, workers, students, businesses and drivers who face traffic congestion, insufficient public transit and increasing air pollution,” says Coalition member Elizabeth Model, CEO of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. “By contrast, the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council plan that we support would see dramatic improvements in transit and transportation to benefit every municipality, our economy, our environment and our quality of life.”

Added Coalition member Gavin McGarrigle from Unifor, the union representing transit operators, mechanics, SeaBus and maintenance workers: “The CTF plan would mean cutting needed municipal public services like police, fire and sanitation while not providing the transit and transportation improvements Metro Vancouver needs — 400 new buses and 25% more service, 11 new rapid bus B-Lines, the two Light Rail Transit lines in Surrey connecting to Langley and much more — it’s not a viable solution — it’s a way to make our problems even worse.”

The Coalition, which already has more than 65 member organizations representing in excess of 250,000 Metro Vancouver residents, says that the CTF plan consists of the same old past rhetoric but no solutions to increasing traffic congestion that is hurting the movement of people, goods ands services critical to the regional and BC economy.

“Metro Vancouver businesses need to end the paralyzing traffic gridlock that hampers our ability to get our employees to and from work and our products to market,” says Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Iain Black. “The CTF viewpoints do not include the tangible elements needed to get our economy and our people moving to secure a prosperous future for our family and our communities.”

“The Mayors’ Council plan is a comprehensive and affordable approach to solving transit and transportation problems that can only grow rapidly as one million new people come to Metro Vancouver by 2040,” says Coalition member Ian Bruce from the David Suzuki Foundation. “For just 34 cents a day per household, Metro Vancouver can build the transit and transportation system we all need, for a better economy, environment and quality of life.”

The new Coalition’s founding members include the Vancouver Board of Trade; the BC Chamber of Commerce; the David Suzuki Foundation; Unifor, Canada’s newest and largest private sector union; Tourism Vancouver; Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association; and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council.

For more information, contact:

Downtown Surrey BIA
Elizabeth Model

Vancouver Board of Trade
Greg Hoekstra

David Suzuki Foundation
Ian Bruce

Gavin McGarrigle
cell 778-668-6455

Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications
cell 778-896-0964 or office 604-844-7827