The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Direct Democracy may Play Greater Role in GVRD
CPP News service
Referenda on major policies and project may become a reality for lower
Delta mayor Lois Jackson proposed the idea at the March board meeting
of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, and she says most of the
mayors on the board like the idea. It passed overwhelmingly at the
Major projects, like rapid transit and other major developments funded
by municipal levies and property taxes, could be subject to regional
plebiscites if the proposal is adopted.
"It might impact future plans or future dollars, so that your children
and my grandchildren are not going to be impacted by a decision made
now for the next 30 to 50 years," she said. However, she insists this
is for future consideration, and it would not affect current projects
like the Translink ten-year transportation plan.
While most of the mayors liked the idea, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum
spoke out strongly against it, claiming they are expensive and
undermine the executive authority of elected officials to make
“I'm not a believer in referendums because I think the public... if I
say certain things and I support certain things, if they don't want
that, then every three years they can decide whether they want me as
mayor or not,” he says.
The GVRD finance committee will now study the idea and estimate how
much such referenda would cost. It would then be up to the board to
initiate a study on how they would be implemented.