VANCOUVER—British Columbia’s largest transit and transportation union is calling on all Metro Vancouver voters to make their voices heard in a new campaign to relieve congestion in the region.
“This region needs permanent and predictable funding for public transit infrastructure,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor B.C. Area Director. “Congestion is not inevitable—the federal government can make choices today that will have a tangible impact.”
Unifor representatives were present today at the launch of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council’s new online mobilization tool that enables voters to send a message to their local Member of Parliament or candidate. The Council is joining municipalities nation-wide through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to call for a federal “Congestion Relief Fund”.
“Both the research and transit operators have made it clear that our system is badly over-crowded and will only get worse without public investment,” said Steve Sutherland, President of Unifor Local 111 representing transit operators.
The Mayor’s Council research shows that the number of overcrowded bus trips increased by 36% between 2016 and 2018. Unifor says that the regional economy and quality of life will decline if residents cannot efficiently make their way around the region, which is expected to grow by one million people by 2040.
“Effective transit and transportation is a non-partisan issue, so it is important that voters of all political stripes call on federal political parties to make a commitment to cure congestion,” said Mike Smith, President of Unifor Local 2200 representing skilled trades and support workers at Coast Mountain Bus Company.