Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce press release on the LRT

This press release came out today from the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and I think it makes a fair amount of sense.    An independent third party review is needed of the recommendation for an LRT because the data and recommendation do not mesh and the details of the data have not been released.

Going to a referendum on a project of this scale is only reasonable, it is not right that BC Transit and the Greater Victoria Transit Commission can impose such a heavy financial burden on the people of the region without getting an explicit mandate

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chamber Calls for Peer Review and Referendum on Rapid Transit Proposal

Victoria, BC – June 29, 2011 – The rapid transit system proposed by BC Transit requires a third party review and the endorsement of the voters in order to go forward.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce gave BC Transit’s proposal a business review and concluded that the complexity is such that a third party review by experts is essential. The review would include analysis of construction and operating costs, including a sensitivity analysis. The review should also include analysis of the economic impact of the proposed system, and determination of cost sharing.

“Billion dollar expenditures require tremendous levels of due diligence,” said David Marshall, Chair of the Board of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “We need to clearly understand the business case for improved transit and the associated potential economic benefits.”

Following the outcome of the review, a region wide referendum must be conducted. As a discretionary project, the views of the public must be determined, particularly as the region’s level of required investment is not clear.

“The experience with the Johnson St. Bridge has impressed upon us all the need to consult with the paying public on large borrowing projects. This is a project of choice which will shape the region’s future and as such, must be supported by those who will be footing the bill.” said Marshall.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has over 1,500 members and is the hub for business communication and collaboration that facilitates the financial vitality of its members while respecting people, planet and profit. The Greater Victoria Chamber has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Ellen Henry         David Marshall
Manager of Member   Chair
Communications
ehenry@gvcc.org     chair@gvcc.org

Cell: 250-812-0510

#100-852 Fort St.
Victoria, BC V8W 1H8
Ph: 250-383-7191 ext 208
Fax: 250-385-3552

www.victoriachamber.ca
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