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e-2297 (Transportation)

E-petition
Initiated by John Aldag from Langley, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Metro Vancouver is Canada's third-largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and is projected to grow by an additional 1,000,000 residents by 2050;
  • TransLink, the region's transit authority, reports there were 52 routes with consistent overcrowding in 2018, up by 37 percent;
  • With ridership increasing annually, overcrowding will continue;
  • The three most overcrowded routes went to and from UBC (the 99, 49 and 25), the 502 from Surrey Central to Langley City, and the 319 between New Westminster, Delta and Surrey;
  • The Metro Vancouver Mayors' Council and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities are calling for a federally supported Congestion Relief Fund;
  • The new Liberal government committed in its 2019 election platform to make the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent and to ensure it keeps up with the rising costs of construction over time by adding an additional $3 billion more annually in stable, predictable funding for Canada's cities' transit needs; and
  • This additional long-term and stable funding will allow TransLink to commit to the implementation of its 10-year plan to address high-priority areas across Metro Vancouver.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Metro Vancouver, call upon the Government of Canada to formalize the commitment by the federal government to provide permanent funds of $3 billion in 2019 dollars for public transit, and commit $375 million from this fund to Metro Vancouver as requested by the Mayors' Council for a Transit Congestion Relief Fund so Canada's third-largest Census Metropolitan Area can implement its entire 10-year plan for transit expansion across the region including, but not limited to, building SkyTrain to Langley City and to UBC.

Response by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Andy Fillmore

The Government of Canada is pleased to respond to this petition.

Clean, efficient public transit is vital to making communities from coast to coast to coast safer, cleaner, and more attractive places for Canadians to live, work, and raise their families.

That is why the Government of Canada committed to supporting ambitious public transit projects across the country with investments of $28.7 billion over 12 years through the Investing in Canada plan.

In February 2019, Infrastructure and Communities’ Minister Catherine McKenna took part in an electric bus demonstration and met with the Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to hear first-hand their needs.

Large, growing urban centres such as Metro Vancouver need public transit investments to reduce pollution, traffic and road congestion, improve access to jobs, education, healthcare and social activities, and provide better social and economic outcomes for residents. 

Metro Vancouver is benefiting from more than $2.25 billion under British Columbia’s bilateral agreement. This funding is supporting the Millennium Line Broadway Extension ($888 million) and the Expo Millennium Upgrades Project ($493 million). The Government has also provided $49 million for the acquisition of 28 new SkyTrain cars under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. Between 2014 and 2024, Metro Vancouver will also benefit from close to $1.5 billion in federal Gas Tax Funds.

In addition to federal funding for additional SkyTrain cars, in January, TransLink also used federal funding to purchase four new RapidBuses, including one that will help to alleviate congestion and improve commute times along the very important UBC-Joyce/Collingwood route. 

The Government of Canada has committed to ensuring that federal investments in public transit are used to support the transition to a low-carbon economy by helping municipalities and school boards purchase 5,000 zero-emission transit and school buses over the next five years. And, starting in 2023, new federal investments in public transit will be used to support zero-emission buses and rail systems.

Further, in recognition of the need for long-term, predictable transit funding, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities was mandated to make the commitment to fund public transit permanent, ensuring that the value of this funding increases over time with the cost of construction.

The Government of Canada works closely with provincial, territorial and municipal partners to fund infrastructure projects. Going forward, the Government will continue to work with its partners to advance its infrastructure plan. Investments made under the next phase of this plan will remove barriers, bring people together, and foster liveable communities across Canada.

Open for signature
November 18, 2019, at 9:34 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 17, 2020, at 9:34 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Ken Hardie (Fleetwood—Port Kells)
February 5, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00066)
Government response tabled
April 11, 2020
Photo - Ken Hardie
Fleetwood—Port Kells
Liberal Caucus
British Columbia
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