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Independent panel set to review TransLink governance

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- A three-person panel has been established by the B.C. government to conduct a review of the gove...

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A three-person panel has been established by the B.C. government to conduct a review of the governance structure of TransLink.

TransLink, formerly the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, is the provincial agency tasked with planning and executing transportation initiatives for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

“Local leaders have advocated that transportation planning and infrastructure needs in the Lower Mainland have changed significantly since Translink’s inception. After eight years, it’s time to examine the current governance structure to determine whether this is the right model to maintain public confidence,” said Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation, in a news release. “This independent panel will review the governance model to determine if Translink is as effective as it could be in meeting the transportation needs of the Lower Mainland and the province.”

The panel will be chaired by Marlene Grinnell, who served as the mayor of Langley for about 12 years and spent time on the TransLink board during her tenure. Dan Doyle and Wayne Duzita were also appointed to the panel, both with extensive backgrounds in the transportation industry.

The panel is to review and make recommendations on the appropriate division of roles and responsibilities between TransLink, the GVRD, and the province over local transportation-related matters, including revenue-raising measures. It will also make recommendations from those discussions on the appropriate size, composition, and appointment processes for TransLink’s Board.

Malcolm Brodie, chair of TransLink, responded to the announcement positively, stating it is necessary to move the transportation network forward and a measure only the government could take.

“First, the GVTA Act, an act of the provincial legislature, is the law that dictates TransLink’s governance structure and our sources of financing,” he said in a news release. “As well, and just as importantly, the Act sets out the contribution we are required to make to the region’s broader objectives through our relationship with the Greater Vancouver Regional District.”

TransLink has grown from a $550 million operation in 2000 to an $840 million operation in 2006, and from a tiny capital program to a $4 billion capital plan.

“Having the right governance structure, mandate and financial tools in place for today and tomorrow is essential if TransLink is to plan, finance, build and operate the regional transportation network.” Commented Brodie. “The appointment of such a seasoned leadership panel as well as the scope of the review is welcomed.”

The panel is expected to submit a final report to the Minister of Transportation by this fall.

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