Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie joined a group of mayors from large cities in B.C. calling on provincial parties to support transit and those struggling with mental health and substance use issues, and to push for affordable housing.
The calls to action were released on Wednesday as B.C. is getting underway in a provincial election.
Brodie focused his remarks on transit issues, pointing out ridership is down 50 per cent for TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries.
“We need the incoming provincial government to support the financial recovery of transit providers while redesigning the transit funding model,” Brodie said in a statement.
Furthermore, he added, to remain competitive, the province needs to continue planning transit expansion after the pandemic, saying “affordable, reliable and accessible public transit is critical to the economic, social and environmental future of our communities.”
In the mayors’ calls to action, they call for a redesign of transit funding which relies “too heavily on regressive transit fares and local property taxes.
Other calls to action include immediate expansion of substance use and mental health treatment and recovery for young people and adults.
“We need treatment on demand so people get it when they need it. We need action in months, not years,” states the call to action.
The mayors also want political parties to commit to affordable housing by both investing in new supportive social housing, encouraging housing for people to live in rather than as an investment and ensuring there is a rental housing system that balances the need of renters and landlords.