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Fuel tax hike still expected to cover Metro Vancouver transit plan funding gap

Metro Vancouver mayors at a board meeting on April 27, 2018. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – More than three weeks after Metro Vancouver mayors approved a gas tax raise, there’s no sign of any relief coming from the provincial government.

We’ve been told the money’s needed to help cover a $30-million per year gap in the next phase of a ten-year regional transportation plan.

Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson says all three levels of government will work together to make sure all the funding is in place when it’s needed.

“I’ve every confidence that together, the mayors’ council working together and working with the province and working with the federal government in this investment, that we’re going to be able to move forward on Phase 2 of the mayors’ plan.”

On June 28th, some mayors reluctantly approved the 1.5-cent per litre increase saying it was forced on them by Victoria.

Robinson says she hasn’t had a chance to follow up, but as far as she’s concerned, nothing’s changed.

“They’ve been given all the tools. They’ve asked for tools. We’ve given them a range of tools to help them meet the regional gap and they approved the plan.”

Some mayors who voted in favour of the increase are not seeking re-election in October, but Burnaby’s Derek Corrigan –who chairs the council– plans to keep his job.

He’s also said the extra fuel tax may not happen if other funding sources are found.

If it goes ahead, it’s expected to cost the average driver more than $20 a year.