“Vote ‘YES’ New West” Coalition launches
New Westminster – The “Vote ‘YES’ New West” Coalition officially launched at a press conference today at New Westminster City Hall. The coalition includes a broad cross-section of local organization representation including: business, labour, education, health care, environment, and community services. Together, the coalition is committed to supporting a ‘YES’ vote in Metro Vancouver’s upcoming transportation referendum and promoting the benefits of better transit and transportation for New Westminster.
“The number and diversity of organizations represented in this coalition speaks volumes on how important a ‘YES’ vote is for New Westminster,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “A ‘YES’ vote has far-reaching impacts for the entire community, from families to seniors, and students to businesses. We are all affected by traffic congestion and the benefits for New Westminster residents from a successful result in the referendum cannot be understated.”
The Mayors’ Council transportation investment plan includes several key benefits to New Westminster, including a new Pattullo Bridge, upgrades to the Major Road Network to ease congestion on some of the region’s most congested corridors, increased capacity on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain Lines, increased frequency of local bus and HandyDART service, new Light Rail Transit south of the Fraser River, and new investments in cycling and pedestrian routes.
“Our community has a lot on the line with this vote. A ‘YES’ vote means less congestion, a stronger economy, and a healthier community for us all,” said Christine Conway, Chair of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce. “But a ‘No’ vote will strand us without critical transit and transportation improvements – potentially for decades.”
Beginning March 16, 2015, ballots will be arriving in the mail. Residents will have until May 29th to vote on the Mayors’ Council plan. Residents are encouraged to ensure that they are registered with Elections BC and eligible to vote.
"With a ‘YES’ vote, we can create communities of belonging where the diversity of all people is welcome. People on the margins of our communities: those living with disabilities; with mental illness; with substance use issues; those looking for work or living without a home; will never be contributing members of our communities without a fulsome public transportation system,” said Lynda Edmonds, Executive Director of Fraserside Community Services Society. “A ‘YES’ vote is a decisive action that creates communities where everyone can belong.”
"This is one of the most important decisions our region is going to face. Voting against the plan is a vote for the status quo,” said Mayor Coté. “A 'YES’ vote is essential for our economic growth, our health and environment, and our overall quality of life.”
Vote ‘YES’ New West Coalition members include:
David Suzuki Foundation
Douglas College Students’ Association
Downtown Business Improvement Association
Fraser Health Association Medical Health Officer – Lisa Mu
Fraserside Community Services Society
New Westminster Chamber of Commerce
New Westminster & District Labour Council
New Westminster Environmental Partners
New Westminster School District #40
New Westminster Secondary School Environment Club
Queensborough Residents’ Association
Tourism New West
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1518
More information on the referendum is available at www.newwestcity.ca and online voter registration is available at https://eregister.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/ovr/welcome.aspx.
Endorsement comments from Vote ‘Yes’ New West Coalition members
“Accessible and affordable public transportation systems need to meet the modern realities for working people and families. The 24/7 demands of today’s economy affect the choices people make regarding where they live and work. Investing and improving our public transportation system will positively impact future job opportunities and significantly improve the quality of life for people and communities.”
Carolyn Rice, Secretary-Treasurer, New Westminster & District Labour Council
"A 'YES' vote for the Mayors' plan for improved transit and transportation will protect the livability and safety of our neighbourhoods, ensuring that our students continue to have the freedom to play outside with their friends and safely travel to and from school."
Jonina Campbell, New Westminster School Board Chairperson
“Here in New Westminster, we’re all too familiar with traffic and have been working towards solutions for years. But we’re part of a regional system and it will take regional transit and transportation improvements to give our community relief from congestion. I’m proud to be here today to show my strong support for the Mayors’ Council Action Plan, for Mayor Coté and City Council and to urge all residents of New Westminster to vote ‘YES’ in the transit and transportation referendum.”
Wayne Wright, former Mayors’ Council Vice Chair and New Westminster Mayor