Mayors work to expedite transit governance changes

The Capital Regional District could take on the job of making regional transit and transportation planning decisions by year’s en

Efforts to transfer control of transit in Greater Victoria are gaining traction.

The Capital Regional District could take on the job of making regional transit and transportation planning decisions by year’s end if Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin and Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard have their way.

They planned to meet with B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom in Victoria on Wednesday in the hopes he can expedite the changes, which can only be approved at the provincial level.

Graham Young, Victoria councillor and chair the Capital Regional District board of directors, was expected to attend, and several mayors from throughout the province were  invited.

The Capital Regional District’s board of directors agreed in June to ask Lekstrom for permission to take management of transit away from the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

The push is to put transit in the hands of a public body that has more regional representation, rather than the commission, which has seven provincially appointed members who represent five municipalities: Victoria, Oak Bay, Saanich, Sooke and Central Saanich.

B.C. Transit has matured to the point where decisions that the commission is required to address are much more complex, and have a regional impact, said Christopher Causton, Oak Bay mayor and commission chair.

“This is getting into a much bigger deal than routes and rates,” said Causton, who didn’t attend the meeting with Lekstrom.

But Saanich Mayor and commission member, Frank Leonard, said there was a time when B.C. Transit relied on the commission for more direction, as it should.

“Now we’ve regressed to a very minimal relationship (with B.C. Transit in the past five years),” said Leonard. “We need accountability and we need transparency.”

Fortin and Leonard are among more than 40 B.C. mayors who have spent the year calling for changes to the way transit is governed regionally.

Just Posted

Home care transition could exasperate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

Rickter Scale: More smoke and secondhand hindsight

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

How worried should we be about the bees?

One bee species hasn’t been seen since 1990

New festival celebrating Croatian culture to be held in Victoria

CROfest will be held May 4 and 5 at Croatian Catholic Church of St. Leopold Mandíc

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Most Read