But Minister issues no press release on new screening panel dominated by
BURNABY, BC, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - BC Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has
appointed a screening panel to hand pick who gets nominated for the new
Translink board - but he's hushing up the announcement to circumvent the
democratic process and avoid scrutiny for the panel's overwhelming business
bias, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
"Translink was advised of the appointments late last week, but the
Ministry of Transportation issued no press release," notes CUPE BC president
Barry O'Neill, commenting on an advisory to Translink directors and
"Given that Bill 36, the legislative overhaul of Translink, hasn't even
passed through final reading in the legislature, it's outrageous that Minister
Falcon would try to keep this announcement under the radar. British Columbians
deserve to know how local government autonomy and accountability are being
brushed aside for the sake of the Campbell Liberals' corporate business
The five men appointed to the panel are Vancouver Board of Trade governor
Graham Clarke, Vancouver Board of Trade economist emeritus Dave Park, Greater
Vancouver Gateway Council managing director Bob Wilds, FMG Financial Mentors
Group president Hugh Lindsay and former BC premier Mike Harcourt.
All except Harcourt - the former provincial New Democratic Party leader
known for his interest in environmental and urban sustainability issues - are
strongly identified with the Vancouver Board of Trade and business interests.
"It's important to remember that the Translink board has the authority to
recommend tax increases, and to make decisions about capital investments,
operating systems and services in the region," says O'Neill.
"This is why we have elected officials. But Bill 36 would prevent
democratically elected mayors or councillors from serving on the Translink
board. And this screening panel, which is not even a legal entity, has the
authority to recommend board members before Bill 36 has even gone through the
legislature. How does that serve democracy?"
For further information:
For further information: Barry O'Neill, CUPE BC president: (604)
340-6768; Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132