First and foremost, SCI BC strongly encourages everyone to participate in our democratic processes. This includes voting in elections and plebiscites/referenda. Voting is a precious right and is an important way for the voices of people with disabilities to be heard. If you don’t vote you are not heard.
Those of us living in Metro Vancouver face a very important decision that will have critical impact on our region’s transportation infrastructure for years to come. Whether you think the Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Referendum (also called a Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Plebiscite) was a good idea or not, and whatever your views are on Translink and how it is managed, your vote is important.
SCI BC doesn’t often take a publicly stated position on which way we would like people to vote, but the transit referendum is an opportunity to add much needed transportation to our region that will make Metro Vancouver more accessible to all citizens. All at a very minimal cost to individuals.
This is why SCI BC is encouraging Metro Vancouverites to vote YES in the Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Referendum.
By voting YES, you will be voting for:
- 30% more HandyDART service
- Increased accessibility at transit facilities
- More accessible buses, trains and SeaBus service
- 2,700 km of bikeways (particularly appealing for those that handcycle in the region)
- Less congestion on the roads
- Decreased commute times
- More equitable access to transportation and participation by everyone in the region
Yes, you will also be voting for a very small increase in sales tax that will cost you less than 35 cents a day. For people with lower incomes, this cost will be even less. This is a very small price to pay for more equitable and accessible transportation for people with disabilities and seniors with mobility challenges.
Whatever your views are on Translink, this referendum is NOT a vote on Translink governance and your confidence in it. The vote is not about Translink. It is about Metro Vancouer’s Mayors’ Council’s critically important plan to increase vital transportation options throughout Metro Vancouver. So please vote for the plan, not the governance structure.
For all of these reasons and more, SCI BC is endorsing the YES vote in the Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Referendum. We encourage you to vote and to vote YES when you do.
Personally, as someone who has opted to use public transportation for the better part of 35 years, I see the need to increase transit options daily. All too often buses are packed full, leaving people behind; insufficient access to express routes, higher speed forms of transit and road congestion mean long commutes and less time spent with family and friends; and accessibility to transit is not as good as it needs to be for everyone. Because I want Metro Vancouver to be an even better place to live for me and my family I will vote YES.
How to Vote
The vote is being conducted by mail. If you are a registered voter with Elections BC (if you voted in the last Provincial election, you likely are), and living in Metro Vancouver (see the list and map below for the election boundary), you should have received a voting package in the mail by March 27, 2015. If you haven’t received a voting package, you can you can ask for one to be mailed to you by calling 1-800-661-8683 or online at elections.bc.ca/ovr.
If you need to access services in person or have difficulties receiving mail at your address, you can register and ask for a voting package at a Plebiscite Service Office beginning on April 13. You can mail your completed package or drop it off at a Plebiscite Service Office.
You can ask for voting packages up until May 15. Voting closes at 8 pm on May 29, 2015.
To be eligible to vote, you must be:
- a Canadian citizen
- 18 years of age or older, on or before May 29, 2015
- a resident of B.C. for at least six months, on or before May 29, 2015
- registered to vote in B.C.
- living in Metro Vancouver (see map and list of voting municipalities below)
- Bowen Island Municipality
- City of Burnaby
- City of Coquitlam
- City of Langley
- City of Maple Ridge
- City of New Westminster
- City of North Vancouver
- City of Pitt Meadows
- City of Port Coquitlam
- City of Port Moody
- City of Richmond
- City of Surrey
- City of Vancouver
- City of White Rock
- Corporation of Delta
- District of North Vancouver
- District of West Vancouver
- Metro Vancouver Electoral Area “A”
- Township of Langley
- Tsawwassen First Nation
- Village of Anmore
- Village of Belcarra
- Village of Lions Bay
For more information:
- Elections BC 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite – call 1-800-661-8683, email firstname.lastname@example.org, online http://www.elections.bc.ca/plebiscite/index.html
- Metro Vancouver’s Mayors’ Council – learn more about the transit and transportation plan and why they think you should vote yes.
- Better Transit & Transportation Coalition – a source of facts from a coalition of 100+ organizations that support the YES vote.
- SCI BC’s Infoline is here to help, too. Just contact our SCI BC InfoLine service by calling or free InfoLine 1 800 689 2477 or emailing.