Jan 16/08: Translink Board Meetings No Longer Open To Public ...
The newly appointed chair of Greater Vancouver's transportation
authority is already taking heat for a decision that regular meetings
will no longer be open to the public or the media.
Translink announced Wednesday that Dale Parker was elected to a
three-year term by the new nine-member board while current CEO Pat
Jacobson, who's been on the job for seven years, will step down in
The new Translink board, appointed by the government and made up of
nine professionals, replaces the 12-member board composed of locally
elected mayors and councillors.
Parker, a former CEO of the B.C. Workers Compensation Board, said
Wednesday he expects the board will meet six times a year and the
meetings will not routinely be open to the public.
Opposition New Democrat MLA Maureen Karagianis said the new
arrangement confirms what the NDP has suspected since the province
passed legislation restructuring the authority last March.
"This group, which has enormous powers of taxation, is going to be
able to do their business in secret without any public
accountability," said Karagianis, NDP's transportation critic.
But Parker said the new board will hear from delegations and will hold
public hearings on significant decisions.
Any decision on raising taxes or transit fares will still be made by
locally elected politicians, he said.
"We're accountable to the council of mayors and we have to go there
and get approval for any increased taxation," Parker said.
Translink spokesperson Ken Hardie said the authority will still be
subject to freedom of information and decisions made behind closed
door will be available in public documents.